The compromise came as Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross described the reform as a “white elephant”. He urged the Prime Minister to get rid of the proposals altogether.
“The man who failed to get the trains running on time, forced police officers to breaking point and left our NHS in crisis is now doing everything he can to bring social care into chaos too,” Ross said during the prime minister’s conference on Thursday. Questions.
READ MORE: Cost of consultants at SNP’s flagship National Care Service exceeds £2m
The first vote on the reform has been repeatedly delayed and will now not take place until after the summer.
The new law it is intended to allow the government to set up ‘care boards’ directly accountable to Scottish ministers who will take over roles and staff that are currently managed and run by local authorities and health boards.
The goal is to provide a standard level of care across the country and to end the “zip code lottery.”
Criticism of the bill has been mounting in recent months, with MSPs, councils, unions, businesses and charities calling for a pause.
Last month, groups representing staff and users of the new service said legislation needed “much more time.”
MSP at Holyrood’s finance committee have demanded a revised financial assessment from the government.
Ministers predicted last June that the NCS would cost between £644m and £1.26bn by 2026/27, but experts wanted that to disregard runaway inflation.
Earlier this week news broke that around £2m has already been spent on consultancy fees for the proposed new service.
Ross told MSPs: “The PM has no idea what it’s really going to cost. He is wasting public money when frontline social care services desperately need more funding.
“The SNP could be investing to improve these local services, instead they are creating a bureaucratic nightmare and want a blank check to do it.
“The last thing our distress service needs is a multi-billion pound administrative review when it is running low on cash from the front line.
“So will Humza Yousaf do the right thing, stop wasting taxpayer money and scrap these plans altogether?”
READ MORE: The vote of the National Service of Attention was delayed again
Yousaf insisted that his government is “absolutely committed to our plans for a national care service”, saying that it will “ensure that fair labor is at the heart of any future care service”.
On consultancy costs, he said it was important for the Scottish government to bring in people with “additional specialist and technical expertise” who would help “ensure we make progress on the legislation itself.”
He said the delay in legislation establishing the new system will allow ministers to speak to both local government and unions.
The prime minister said: “We are doing that to find a level of commitment in the national helpline that allows us to move forward with an element of consensus.”
He added that “depending on what that commitment is,” it would determine what changes there are in the total cost of the reforms.
Mr Yousaf said: “We will engage with the unions, we will engage with local government and hopefully reach a compromise position on the national helpline and come back with a revised financial memorandum.”