Our carers won’t win campaign for £15 an hour, Sturgeon indicates

By Lucy Ashton

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton Constituency, has stood up for carers and social care workers alike in the Scottish Parliament.

During a question to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, right, Jackie Baillie asked whether the SNP government would pledge to giving social care workers a deserved pay rise, following their hard work during the pandemic, taking their earnings up to £15 an hour.

Unfortunately the SNP rejected this at last year’s budget and look set to reject this again, given the disappointing response from the First Minister.

The pay rise, first raised by Scottish Labour last year, was supported by the Greens during the election. Jackie hoped that this pledge has not been abandoned now that the Greens are in coalition with the SNP.

Similarly, Jackie Baillie spoke out in support of hard working unpaid carers. Jackie described carers as being a key section of society and highlighted how difficult the last 18 months have and continue to be for them.

She raised the fact that many of them were continuing to isolate and that the government has done little to restart vital care packages and respite services.

Jackie Baillie, left,  said: “It is clear that when it comes to the social care sector, whether you are an unpaid carer or a social care worker, the Scottish Government is not doing nearly enough to support you.

“It is frankly unacceptable that the Scottish Government is continuing to refuse to commit to giving social care workers a pay rise of £15 an hour and the lack of a remobilisation plan for social care speaks volumes.

“Carers play a hugely significant role in our communities and the last 18 months have been extremely difficult for them.

“The Scottish Government must make it its’ priority to restart care packages and vital services including respite care in order to ensure that both carers and those that they care for have the support that they need.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce the rise next week.
The prime minister is expected to announce a rise in national insurance payments to fund social care, despite this being a breach of the 2019 Tory manifesto.

Reports in The Times and The Daily Telegraph say the plans could be revealed as soon as next week when parliament returns from its summer recess.

Both newspapers said national insurance is the favoured approach, but there are varying reports of how much the rise could be.

The Times said Health Secretary Sajid Javid is pushing for a 2% increase, while Chancellor Rishi Sunak is arguing against any increase of more than 1%.

The Daily Telegraph said Number 10 wants a one percentage point rise, but the Treasury is pushing to go higher, possibly 1.25 percentage points.

“We will work as quickly as possible in order to get that certainty that, I think, so many people have been looking for so long.”


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