MSPs have said they are becoming “increasingly concerned” about the finances of the Scottish Government’s flagship overhaul of the care system.

Holyrood’s finance committee has now given the minister in charge of the National Care Service Bill until May 12 to provide it with revised costings.

Nicola Sturgeon and Humza Yousaf have likened the NCS to the creation of the NHS in 1948, arguing it will harmonise standards of care Scotland-wide and improve staff terms.

But the councils who currently provide adult care fear it is a centralising power grab, and unions are worried about jobs.

MSPs have also said it appears a very heavy-handed way to raise the standards of care in the few homes not up to scratch and a blank cheque on costs.

The original financial memorandum (FM) was published with the Bill in June last year, and estimated the cost of the NCS at between £644million and £1.26bn by 2026/27.

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Since then, a series of parliamentary committees have flagged problems with the Bill, and spending watchdogs have warned the figures have been overtaken by inflation.

The legislation has also been repeatedly delayed.

The Government planned to complete the first of its three stages by March 17.

But just before the deadline, ministers asked parliament for an extension to June 30.

Earlier this month, the Government secured another extension this time an open-ended one "beyond June".

Last year, the finance committee demanded revised estimates, and the Government promised to provide a new FM at least two weeks before the Stage 1 debate and vote.

But with the Bill slipping, the revised costs have slipped too.

In his letter to social care minister Maree Todd, SNP finance committee convener Kenneth Gibson said the committee had first expressed “significant concerns regarding the lack of detail” in the original FM in December.

He wrote: “We are becoming increasingly concerned at the lack of information available on the financial implications of the Bill and frustrated that we have still not received the updated FM we requested back in December last year, particularly given that the Scottish Government had argued that the original FM needed no amendment.” 

He said his committee did “not accept” the Government needed to wait until the lead committee on the Bill, Health and Social Care, had published its report on it.

“The Committee therefore repeats its call for a revised FM… to be provided at the earliest opportunity, and no later than Friday 12 May, " he said. 

“We also seek within the same timeframe, a detailed breakdown of spend to date on the NCS, including those costs arising directly as a result of the provisions in the Bill and those which result from the wider NCS programme.

“The Committee further requests clarification of the new timetable for completion of Stage 1 proceedings on the Bill.” 

He asked Ms Todd to give oral evidence to the finance committee on 23 May. 

Scottish Tory social care  spokesman Craig Hoy said: “It’s simply not good enough for the SNP to keep this parliamentary committee in the dark.

“Ensuring that the finance committee are able to scrutinise what these plans will ultimately cost should have been a top priority for ministers. Instead, the SNP chair of the committee is once again having to beg his colleagues for information.

“We already know the SNP have earmarked £1.3bn to their reckless and illogical plans for a National Care Service, which they should be ditching altogether, rather than kicking into the long grass.

“The Scottish Conservatives have repeatedly called for every penny to be diverted towards local care services instead. But if the SNP are determined to press ahead, then they must give this information as a matter of urgency.”

Scottish Labour linked the uncertainty over the NCS Bill to new figures showing 6,700 people are currently waiting for a social care assessment.

Social Care spokesperson Jackie Baillie said “Thousands of Scots are stuck in limbo waiting for social care assessments or waiting for social care packages, but all the SNP has to offer them is their bungled plans for a National Care Service.

“That the finance committee has been forced to send this letter to break the silence from the SNP is truly shocking.

“Not a day seems to go by without the SNP attempting to cloak their own failures in secrecy.

“Social care in Scotland is at breaking point and a centralising SNP power grab won’t help.

“We need support for services and fair pay for dedicated social care workers, who have gone above and beyond to keep this crisis at bay. The SNP must set aside their botched plans and instead focus on delivering the change social care really needs.”