Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

8 December 2021

Facebook   Twitter

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Government social care plans: Where is the money?

Photo: Joe D Miles for CQC/CC

Photo: Joe D Miles for CQC/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Glynn Doherty, Social care trade union organiser

The government's white paper on adult social care in England has been met with an almost universal reaction - where is the money? This is despite workers having to pay an extra 1.25% in National Insurance to fund it.

"Chronic workforce shortages are the biggest concern...with uncompetitive pay the main culprit. There is nothing in the paper to suggest the government has any real strategy." Those are the damning words of the director of charity Age UK.

The 'promises' in the paper fall well short of tackling the crisis in the system. Reading the 100-page document is soul-destroying, it bears no resemblance to reality or what workers and specialists in the sector project is necessary.

Even the government predicts 7% of care home staff will leave by the end of this year, either through their 'no jab, no job' policy or disenchantment with pay, workloads and working conditions.

Data published in October 2021 showed the number of registered nurses in adult social care in England has declined again and is down by almost 17,000 (33%) since 2012.

Inadequate

The Tories are ploughing ahead with extending their vaccination policy throughout health and social care, which will cause further haemorrhaging of staff.

Ministers have made much of their plans to raise the minimum wage in 2022 by 6.6% to £9.50 an hour (if you're aged 23 or over). This is completely inadequate.

The most staggering statistic is that average pay across the whole sector will have to rise by 5.5% to remain legal under the new rates! Current average pay is just £9.01 an hour.

It is not just the level of take-home pay which needs addressing. Many workers are paid less than minimum wage to work 'sleep-ins', time in a service user's premises overnight to meet vital care needs. A recent judicial ruling concluded that this is not considered working, and so workers aren't entitled to the minimum wage.

Others, who work in the community, don't get paid for time travelling between service users' homes. There are increasing problems with staff not getting properly paid for undergoing compulsory training.

A paragraph saying "We also want to work with commissioners and providers to make sure care workers are paid for all the hours they work", is not clarified. There are, instead, unexplained references to "coaching", "support psychological wellbeing and resilience", and "a range of holistic interventions".

The paper glosses over the recent change in policy concerning the cap on costs, which means many will still have to sell their homes to access care (see 'Poorer pensioners fleeced by social care cap' at socialistparty.org.uk)

A recent survey suggests 400,000 people are currently awaiting assessment of their needs. The number waiting six months or more rocketed from 11,000 reported in September to over 40,000. 1.5 million hours of commissioned home care were not delivered in the three months to November.

The Labour Party mouths words of opposition in parliament, but the manifesto commitments given by Jeremy Corbyn to tackle underfunding, low pay and profiteering have been long-forgotten, and Labour councils continue to cut adult care.

Strategy needed

The trade unions must step into the breach left by Labour. The GMB union's call for £15 an hour for social care workers is supported by the Socialist Party and many in the leadership of the other major care unions - Unison and Unite. But without an accompanying strategy for implementation, it remains simply a slogan.

The unions should combine resources to tackle low union density. They must quickly develop a pay strategy targeting some of the larger private and independent providers, threatening strike action if necessary.

Alongside this, the unions must demand the return to the public sector of all social care before the system collapses completely. Our health and wellbeing should not be for the private profits of the rich.


Privatised care home's snap closure

Half of councils have had to respond to care homes going bankrupt or closing in the last six months. One care home, Berkeley House in Kent which cares for adults with severe learning disabilities and autism, gave ten hours' notice of its closure. It had been unable to properly staff the home and provide safe care.

Residents and their families were left in the lurch. Meanwhile, the care home operator Achieve Together has no doubt made a handsome profit - why else would its owners be based in Jersey?

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 8 December 2021:


News

Unite to fight for pay and NHS we deserve

Government social care plans: Where is the money?

Uni staff and students must unite to end marketisation and for free education

Covid news in brief


What we think

Workers' politics needed to exploit Tory scandal and splits


People's Budgets

Building People's Budgets: An alternative to Tory and Labour cuts


International news

Chile presidential election - stop the far-right candidate

Unprecedented floods in British Columbia

Wider working-class and union struggle needed to win St Vincent nurses' strike

Defending abortion rights in the US


Workplace news

Universities strike - build the action and stand united to win

Thousands of Tesco warehouse workers to strike

Sandwell bin workers beat Serco and win pay rise

Panasonic workers break company pay freeze

Clarks strikers defeat 'fire and rehire'

Organise to win the NEU's 8% pay demand

Yorkshire Stagecoach bus workers' week-long strike

Worksop Wincanton logistics workers on strike

Newham Sixth Form College begins strike against academisation

Sheffield Just East couriers picket and march for pay rise

Napo ballots for trade dispute


Campaigns news

Affordable housing for all

Challenge cutters and evictors in Waltham Forest Council

Remembering Tony Davison

Fighting Fund: Help us reach over 50,000

Defying unjust laws - a rich history of struggle

Mail attacks tube strikers by stealing socialist's image


Review

Film review: The Harder They Fall


 

Home   |   The Socialist 8 December 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Government:

triangleFree prescriptions? Maybe when you're older

triangleSolidarity with workers protesting in Kazakhstan

triangleCommunities fight back against Rio Tinto mine

triangleTories concede under cladding pressure but don't go far enough

triangleNHS Covid staff crisis

Pay:

triangleLow pay, stress and Covid drive: NHS staff crisis

triangleWeetabix workers defeat 'fire and rehire' and ballot on improved pay offer

triangleEast Mids rail conductors force concessions, train managers' dispute continues

triangleSouth Yorkshire bus strikes spreading and getting stronger

Workers:

triangleKazakhstan: Working-class revolt only suppressed by massive mobilisation of troops

triangle10,000 tube workers vote to strike over jobs, terms and pension cuts

triangleSocialist Party members joined the picket lines of striking bin workers in Coventry fighting for better pay. January 2022

Unions:

triangleCarmarthenshire gritters take action as Plaid-led council reneges on agreement

triangleNew unionism - when mass workers' action changed Britain

Article dated 8 December 2021

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

MEMBER RESOURCES

Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales

Leaflets

Bulk book orders

New member submission

WHAT'S ON

triangle18 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: Racism in the police - the fight for justice for the Cardiff 3

triangle18 Jan Caerphilly and RCT Socialist Party: Where is Britain going?

triangle19 Jan York & North Yorkshire TUSC people's budget meeting

More...


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

News

Kazakhstan

Campaigns news

Workplace news

Reviews

Readers' opinion

Obituaries

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1162 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files


Coventry bin workers on strike, January 2022, photo by Dave Nellist

Socialist Party members joined the picket lines of striking bin workers in Coventry fighting for better pay. January 2022

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version