Cautious Welcome For Living Wage Increase

Rise must be matched by boost for social care

Social care campaigners have given a cautious welcome to the Government’s planned increase in the living wage but warned that greater support for the sector that provides publicly-funded care will be needed if providers are to afford the rise.

The Independent Care Group (ICG) says the Government’s plan to increase the national living wage for over 25s by 6.2% to £8.72 is very welcome. Increases in the minimum wage are also planned.

The new rate of pay will come in on 1 April 2020, a rise from £8.21 to £8.72 for workers over the age of 25, marking an increase of 6.2 per cent, a rise of £930.The raise will also see younger workers receive a boost to the national minimum wage of between 4.6 per cent and 6.5 per cent depending on their age, with 21-24 year-olds seeing a 6.5% increase from £7.70 to £8.20 an hour.

The Group’s Chair, Mike Padgham said: “These increases are very good news for lower paid workers and we would like to see rates of pay even higher.

“However, we have to add the caveat that these increases will add further pressure, especially to those who are providing publicly-funded care. It will also increase prices for those paying for their own care.

“The Government will need to better fund local authorities so that they can, in turn, increase their fees to providers to allow for increased wages, otherwise it will just heap greater pressure on those already struggling to survive.

“In an ideal world everyone across social care would like to pay their staff more but they all need greater support to be able to meet the demands of increased wages and all the other pressures providers face.

“As a country, we have to get greater funding into social care so that we can provide a better care service, meet the needs of the 1.5m who currently aren’t getting the care they need and properly reward and recognise the amazing staff who work in care.”

 

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