UNISONScotland www
This is our archive website that is no longer being updated.
For the new website please go to
Click here
Home News About us Join Us Contacts Help Resources Learning Links UNISON UK




Sponsorship Comms Index Communications Forum Campaigns News Scotland inUNISON Press Releases


Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


16 November 2004

UNISON calls for meeting with Minister over support funding cut

UNISON, Scotland's social care union, has written to Minister for Communities, Malcolm Chisholm MSP asking for a meeting to raise the plight of vulnerable people who rely on the Supporting People programme pay for care and adaptations to allow them to remain in their own homes.

Cuts and a redistrbution of the funds mean that hundreds of carers in the public and voluntary sector could lose their jobs, and their services will no longer be available to those people who depend on them.

Steven Smellie, Chair of UNISONScotland's Social Work Issues group said, " The Scottish Executive has arbitrarily switched from a targeted approach - applying for money for specific needs - to one that distributes funds according to a series of general pointers. If you add the dramatic decrease year-on-year in overall funds, then some parts of the country could suffer major reductions in support Rather than this imposed arrangement, UNISON is calling on the Minister to discuss the future distribution of funds and transition arrangements."

The Supporting People programme, is designed to put in place a planned and funded framework for housing support services. This allows many vulnerable older people, the homeless, victims of domestic abuse etc to live independently in their own homes. In 2004 more than 80,000 vulnerable people will require these services.

Joe Di Paola, UNISONScotland's Scottish Organiser for Local Government said "Previously authorities applied for funds when they needed them, but the new formula system will penalise those with the greatest need. Many vulnerable people who have already been identified as needing help face sweeping cuts in services, which will also threaten the jobs of hundreds of workers in both the public and the voluntary sector. There already has been a cut in the current year's grant which has meant jobs and services under threat in areas like West Dunbartonshire. We want a meeting with Malcolm Chisholm to outline to him the likely effect of these cuts."

The proposed funding plans from 2005 - 7 will mean many areas where authorities have identified targets needing help will lose out and other areas receive increases. West Dunbartonshire will lose £5.7m (-32%) over the 3 years - £7.3m (-38%) if you include the current years cut, Renfrewshire £5.5m (-30%), and Fife £3.8m (-13%). ENDS

[Notes to the Editor: A UNISON briefing paper on the effect of this change is available on the website at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/briefings/supportpeople.htm

For Further Information Please Contact: Stephen Smellie (Chair - Soc Wk Issues Group) 01698 454690(o) 07740 096 864(m) Joe Di Paola (Scottish Org - Local Govt): 0845 355 0845(o) 07990 505 698(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer): 0870 7777006(o) 07715 583 729(m)