…but call for social care reform to fund it
CARE CAMPAIGNERS today backed calls for hard-working care staff to be paid a minimum of £10 an hour to look after the country’s most vulnerable.
But they warned that a complete overhaul of the social care sector was vital to ensure that providers would be able to pay that wage.
The Labour Party will tomorrow call for care workers to be paid a minimum of £10 an hour for the work they do.
Leading care provider organisation The Independent Care Group (ICG) supported the call for £10 an hour but warned that the sector would need better funding to pay it.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “During the pandemic care workers have shown yet again the fantastic job they do in caring for our oldest and most vulnerable citizens.
“We have argued for a generation that care staff deserve to be paid better – at least £10 an hour – probably more.
“But to pay that, the country is going to have to pay more for the wonderful care it receives.
“Most care providers are reliant on the fees they receive from bodies that commission care, like local authorities. At the moment, those bodies are not paying a price for care that would enable providers to meet the £10 an hour wage.
“Local authorities need more funds so that they can support social care and enable providers to give their staff the pay they deserve.”
The ICG is calling for total reform of social care, beginning with more funding into the sector through National Insurance or taxation. It wants to see the merging of NHS healthcare and social care and parity between those working in the two sectors.
It says some £8bn has been cut from social care budgets since 2010 with the result that 1.4m people are living without the care they need and there are 110,000 vacancies for social care staff.
“Investing more in social care makes perfect sense,” Mr Padgham added. “The adult social care sector in the UK contributes £46.2 billion to the economy and with the right support, to meet increasing demand, would contribute even more.
“There is an opportunity right now to reform social care, transform the lives of millions and improve this country as a result.”