There is “uncertainty” in the social care sector about the powers of the proposed new National Care Service (NCS), a Holyrood committee has said.

The Local Government Committee said ministers need to be clearer about their intentions for the new service.

The Scottish Government plans to reform much of social care into a single national service with the aim of improving standards.

However the Bill it has introduced to Parliament has led to concern about increasing costs.

In a letter to another Holyrood committee, Local Government Committee convener Ariane Burgess set out her conclusions following weeks of scrutinising the Bill.

She said some witnesses felt the NCS presents an opportunity to transform care and welcomed the shift in responsibility to ministers.

However she noted that the Accounts Commission was concerned that “years of bureaucratic reorganisation could be a distraction from the urgent requirement for social care reform”.

Her committee called for a full business case for the NCS to be published and clarity about the Scottish Government’s assertions that it would be “cost neutral” for local authorities.

Mr Burgess said: “Whilst there is broad support for the principles of the NCS and recognition of the need for improvement, there is clearly uncertainty amongst stakeholders about the full implications of the powers that the NCS gives the Scottish Government and that it removes from local authorities.

“The use of a framework Bill has led to assumptions being made by a wide range of stakeholders which the Scottish Government describes as inaccurate.

“The committee recommends that as the Bill progresses the Scottish Government should address this through ensuring there is full transparency and improved communication of its intentions, particularly with local authorities, to build a shared understanding of the NCS.

“Collaboration will clearly be key to the delivery of the NCS, and there is currently the risk of damage to relations which will inhibit this.”