As the Labour party prepares for a “virtual” party conference, its leaders have called for guaranteed pay rises for care workers.
Care workers across England have risked their lives and sacrificed a lot during the coronavirus pandemic. The Labour`s deputy leader Angela Rayner said giving low pay to care workers is a “moral outrage” given the efforts and sacrifices they have been making.
She suggested minimum pay rates of £9.30 an hour and £10.75 in London will enable the workers to “pay the rent or put food on the table”.
On Tuesday, the leader of the Labour party, Sir Keir Starmer is expected to make his first keynote since he was elected in April in which he will set out the party`s vision. Ms Rayner will use several media appearances to attack the government`s “failure” to give the necessary support and protection to care homes and staff during the pandemic.
Following the April`s 6% rise in the National from £8.21 to £8.72 an hour, 600,000 staff have been benefiting from the increase. A targeted increase of more than £10.50 by 2024 has been set by the government, which would represent 65%of median UK earnings.
However, Ms Rayner who was also elected as deputy leader of Labour in April is expected to call for a “real living wage” for 1.2 million care workers in England.
“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,” she will say.
“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.”
Ministers have pledged to support care homes with additional funding of £1.5 billion each year to help them prepare for a second wave.