We need to give carers a pay rise

5 Feb 2023

A major cause of the terrible NHS crisis afflicting our country is the crisis in social care. Thousands of people are stranded in hospital beds because there aren’t enough care workers to look after them at home or in a care home.

Only two in five people are able to leave hospital when they are ready to do so, contributing to record-breaking waits in A&E and dangerous ambulance handover delays.

Everyone in this country deserves high-quality social care when they need it. At whatever point of life we find ourselves in need of care, whether that’s in later life or, as is the case for an increasing number of people, during their prime working years, everyone should be able to live in dignity.

Sadly that is not the case in Britain today. Social care services in this country are in such a state that people are not getting the care and support they need.

Blame for this unfolding disaster lies squarely with this Conservative Government. 

Again and again they have broken their promises to reform social care.

They pledged that no one would have to sell their house to pay for care and that they would not raise tax to do it. They promised to cap care costs and support our care workers.

Yet they have dithered and delayed, coming up with weak excuses for their failures.

They now talk about fixing the NHS. But that will prove impossible if they do not fix social care too.

It is heart-breaking that millions of elderly and vulnerable people across the country are struggling to get the care they need and deserve. Our care homes are collapsing under the weight of years of broken Conservative promises.

Ed Davey, Leader of the Liberal Democrats

There’s no doubt that the list of necessary reforms to social care is long and the solutions complex. What is clear however is that any change will be completely ineffectual without enough social care staff to care for the vulnerable.

But we face an uphill struggle to even get enough staff. The current number of vacancies in social care stands at 165,000 and is rising alarmingly. In the last year alone the number increased by 55,000.

The reason is simple: care workers aren’t paid enough for the tough, skilled and important work they do. Many are paid less than even the lowest-paid jobs in most supermarkets and shops.

Thankfully the answer to this problem is simple too: pay our hard working care workers a higher wage.

That’s why the Liberal Democrats are calling for the introduction of a Carer’s Minimum Wage. We would pay £2 per hour more than the current minimum wage for all carers, meaning that by April this year hourly pay would be £12.42.

A staggering 850,000 care workers would benefit from this increase in pay. And over 80% of them would be women.

Social care needs serious solutions from a serious Government. But the Conservatives have shown time and again that they don’t care about social care. They don’t want to reform care, or pay carers better. They would have done it long ago if they did.

The NHS needs more than warm words; it needs real solutions. A Carer’s Minimum Wage isn’t the silver bullet, but it’s a serious proposal that could make a big difference to patients and their families across the country.

Give care workers a rise

Back the Lib Dem plan to introduce a Carers’ Minimum Wage where social care workers would be paid at least £2 an hour more than the current minimum wage, bringing their pay up to at least £11.50 an hour today - and £12.42 from this April.

We will keep you up to date by email.
We will contact you occasionally by telephone.
Would you like to receive email updates? (required)
Would you like to receive phone communication? (optional)
You can opt-out at any time

The Liberal Democrats may use the information you provide, including your political opinions, to further our objectives and share it with our elected representatives. Any data we gather will be used in accordance with our privacy policy: libdems.org.uk/privacy. You can exercise your rights and withdraw your consent to future communications by contacting us: data.protection@libdems.org.uk or: DPO, Lib Dems, 1 Vincent Square, SW1P 2PN.

This website uses cookies

Like most websites, this site uses cookies. Some are required to make it work, while others are used for statistical or marketing purposes. If you choose not to allow cookies some features may not be available, such as content from other websites. Please read our Cookie Policy for more information.

Essential cookies enable basic functions and are necessary for the website to function properly.
Statistics cookies collect information anonymously. This information helps us to understand how our visitors use our website.
Marketing cookies are used by third parties or publishers to display personalized advertisements. They do this by tracking visitors across websites.