Unions criticise government’s social care plan
Unions have criticised the government’s ten-year social care plan.
Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid yesterday announced plans to spend £1bn on improving housing and taking advantage of technology to help those receiving care and caregivers
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Britain needs high-quality care and high-quality employment for those providing it. But the biggest problem for both care users and the burnt-out workforce is the staffing crisis caused by a generation of under-funding, fragmentation and privatisation.
“A credible plan for social care must transform the pay and conditions of the workforce. But the white paper fails to do that. And it has no answers for care workers who want to know when they will get a secure contract and a living wage.
“The health minister said private sector provision is the obstacle to professionalising care work. The answer is staring her in the face – we need a publicly owned and run national care service. That way every penny will go into improving services and working conditions, instead of private profits.”
GMB national officer Rachel Harrison said: “This is like groundhog day. Care workers have been waiting for the Government’s plan for years – since before the last election. Now they’re being told they have to wait even longer for any substantial reforms.
“You don’t have to be Einstein to realise addressing pay for carers is the absolute number one priority for to tackle the catastrophic understaffing crisis – a crisis which will only get worse. Care workers can’t survive on poverty pay or unfilled promises by a government refusing to recognise the highly skilled workforce. That’s why GMB is campaigning for a £15 an hour minimum for care workers.”
UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “More than 800 days since Boris Johnson promised a plan to fix social care, this white paper barely scratches the surface. It does nothing to address the fundamental problems of a sector on the brink. There’s no solution to pressing staff shortages or poverty pay for care workers. Nor does it tackle the money leaking out of care into the pockets of wealthy shareholders or make the system easier to navigate.
“Care workers and the people they look after will feel furious and insulted. They need a far-reaching overhaul. Voices across the sector were united in calling for major reform and offering to work with ministers to deliver it.”But the government has ignored unions, employers, care charities and all the others saying a bold, ambitious plan is needed. There are some elements of this package we welcome but tinkering around the edges of a fundamentally broken system is nowhere near enough. The government must get its act together on social care reform, and quickly.”
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