Ministers are under pressure to scrap Scotland’s increasingly costly free universal public services, with a majority of Scots keen to abolish free university tuition and personal care for the elderly.
A Sunday Times investigation has found that amid growing pressure on the public purse, the cost of the flagship free policies has soared to about £2.5bn.
In the case of free personal care alone, the price tag has risen by 287% since it was introduced in 2002 — up from £132m to £500m. Scotland’s ageing population means the cost of that and other free services for elderly people is likely to continue to rise sharply.
Taxpayers are also footing an annual bill of £1.3bn for more than 100m free prescriptions dispensed in the community.
And currently it’s not even the Scots paying for it all. Wonder just how much government they would vote for if they really were paying for it all themselves?