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Scottish leaders come to blows over elderly care

9th June 2006

Jack McConnell, first minister, has announced that he wishes to "take action" against councils who are failing to deliver proper care for the elderly.

Mr McConnell was responding to claims from his opponents that there was a postcode lottery in services for older people.

One such opponent is Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon who condemned reports of some councils operating waiting lists for free care services.

"Again this week we've heard some local authorities in Scotland are rationing free personal care because of a lack of resources," she said.

Nevertheless, the first minister insisted that local authorities were given £153 million last year to improve services.

He went on to say that the Executive is willing to send in inspectors to councils who are diverting budgets from free personal care.

Pat Watters, president of the CoSLA, concluded that there is "no crisis in free personal care".