Saturday 19 September 2020 / 9:01 AM Angela Rayner / Social Care

Government must publish its plan to fix social care crisis and that plan must guarantee all care workers will be paid at least the real living wage – Angela Rayner

Government must publish its plan to fix social care crisis and that plan must guarantee all care workers will be paid at least the real living wage

Labour has today demanded that the Prime Minister publish his promised plan to fix the crisis in social care and that plan must guarantee that all social workers are paid at least the Real Living Wage of £9.30, rising to £10.75 in London.

Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner, who was a home care worker and represented social care workers as a shop steward and trade union official before becoming a Member of Parliament, said it was “unconscionable” that the average wage for a care worker is just £8.10 an hour, while half don’t even earn the real living wage. She attacked the government for “empty gestures” that “don’t pay the rent or put the food on the table”.

Rayner, who will open Labour Connected this weekend by paying tribute to the “key worker heroes” who have put their lives on the line to help get our country through this crisis, also accused the Prime Minister of demeaning his office by trying to blame social care workers.

Demanding that the government publish its long-delayed plan for social care and that plan guarantee a real living wage for all social care workers, Angela Rayner said:

“On his first day in office the Prime Minister promised to fix the crisis in social care with a plan he said he had already prepared. Now it turns out that it won’t be published until next year.

“He must publish his plan to fix the crisis in social care without any more delays, and that plan must guarantee all care workers are paid at least the real living wage.

Attacking the Prime Minister Boris Johnson for only offering care workers “warm words”, Angela Rayner said:

“It was a moral outrage before this pandemic that the average wage for a care worker is a little over £8 an hour and half don’t even earn the real living wage, but now it is unconscionable.

“The Prime Minister and government Ministers have fallen over themselves to clap for our carers and offer them warm words, but applause and empty gestures don’t pay the rent or put the food on the table.

“We can’t clap our key workers and then abandon them. We can’t go back to business as usual, where the very same people who have helped to get our country through this crisis are still underpaid and undervalued.

“After all their sacrifice and bravery, the very least that our care workers deserve is a pay rise.

On Statutory Sick Pay, Angela Rayner said:

“Many social care staff do not even have the right to derisory Statutory Sick Pay of £94.25 per week.

“They are left in an appalling position, forced to choose between going to work and putting vulnerable people at risk or doing the right thing, isolating at home and not being able to pay the bills”.

On the government’s record on social care during the coronavirus crisis, Angela Rayner said:

“It is a disgrace that Boris Johnson demeaned the office of Prime Minister by attempting to blame care workers for the spread of coronavirus in our care homes.

“It is his failure and incompetence that has resulted in 15,000 deaths in our care homes due to coronavirus. He should concentrate on fixing the crisis in social care that has become even more urgent because of this pandemic”.