THE SNP minister in charge of the troubled shake-up of Scotland’s care services has been branded “discourteous” by MSPs frustrated by the lack of detail on the plan's cost.

Holyrood’s Finance and Public Administration Committee today criticised Maree Todd for not telling it first that she would miss its deadline to supply fresh figures.

Instead, the care minister told the Health Committee in an evidence session on May 9 that she would not update the financial memorandum for the National Care Service Bill.

The Finance Committee had given Ms Todd until May 12 to provide it with new figures after becoming “increasingly concerned” about the finances of the flagship reforms.

Humza Yousaf has likened the National Care Service (NCS) to the creation of the NHS in 1948, arguing it will harmonise standards of care Scotland-wide and improve staff terms.

However councils fear it is a centralising power grab, while unions are worried about jobs.

The original financial memorandum was published almost a year ago, and estimated the cost of the NCS at between £644million to £1.26bn by 2026/27.

But since then, a series of parliamentary committees have flagged problems, and spending watchdogs have warned the figures have been overtaken by rising inflation.

In its latest correspondence with Ms Todd, the Finance Committee said it was “disappointed” that she told the Health Committee her plans first, given it is the Finance Committee’s role to scrutinise the financial memorandum.

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Deputy convener Michael Marra wrote: “We consider this discourteous, particularly given the Finance and Public Administration Committee has yet to receive a formal response to our report on the NCS Bill.

“We ask that in future you inform this Committee at the earliest opportunity of any future developments relating to the Financial Memorandum for the Bill.”

The NCS Bill has been repeatedly delayed by ministers.

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

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

Last month, the Government secured a second, open-ended extension beyond June, meaning that in practice the Bill will no go to a vote until the autumn at the earliest.

Ms Todd recently rejected the Finance Committee’s request for new figures on the grounds that it was “not usual” to provide a revised FM until after Stage 2 of a Bill -  and she was still unable to say when Stage 1 would be completed. 

She said she did not want to “confuse matters by providing multiple versions” and expected “more certainty” around the NCS after talks with “key partners and stakeholders” over the summer, leading to more clarity on the costs.

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In his new letter, Mr Marra said the Finance Committee was “concerned” at this approach, and had asked for new figures before the Stage 1 vote because of a basic “lack of detail”.

While this was "not usual", the committee saw it as “entirely necessary” to ensure that all MSPs were well-informed when it came to voting on the Bill’s principles at Stage 1.

Reminding Ms Todd that former deputy First Minister John Swinney promised the committee revised figures months ago, Mr Marra demanded an assurance that she would provide an updated FM “at least four weeks before” the Stage 1 vote, not after Stage 2 as she planned. 

He also said the committee was concerned by Ms Todd’s claim it was “not possible” to separate the costs of the Bill’s provisions from those of the “wider NCS programme”, suggesting no accurate price tag was possible for the Bill.

“We seek an explanation of why, at this early stage, the costs of the NCS Bill cannot be separated from the wider NCS programme and what steps you will put in place to enable this separation of costs to be made going forward, so we can fully understand the best estimates of the Bill.”  

Ms Todd recently told MSPs she found the NCS "hard to get my head around" and asked the public to help co-design it.