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MHA statement in response to Labour’s potential pledge for Care

Comments by Sam Monaghan, CEO of MHA

If reports in The Independent and elsewhere are accurate, we welcome Labour’s promise that 1.5m care professionals will see their wages protected by a Fair Pay Agreement. Under the new measures, care staff will be entitled to pay of at least £12 per hour, which will bring them one step closer to equivalent NHS staff.

Crucially, however, Labour’s pledge relies on providers being able to access enough money to fund it. There is currently a £2.9bn shortfall in the amount budgeted for social care by Government and the actual cost of delivering that care. This must be rectified as a matter of urgency, alongside a sustainable funding model that can keep pace with rising costs as well as improving pay and conditions for people working in the sector.

MHA is already committed to paying at the levels being suggested and we are keen to do even more to demonstrate how much we value our talented colleagues. But Government must work with us and provide the financial resources to enable this to happen.

Update following the release the release of the Labour manifesto

Labour’s manifesto announcement today shows signs that the party has listened to the sector and recognises the need for significant reform. Within the proposed National Care Service programme there is a notable commitment to tackling issues around fair pay, and its workforce plan also includes a strategy for improving training standards and professionalising the sector further. This is something that we have long been calling for at MHA, to ensure that people working in social care are properly valued for the work that they do. 

However, while there is rhetoric around consultations and consensus, there is still no concrete outline of how this will be funded or when it will happen. 

Economic growth is the key focus of Labour’s pledge. Yet, despite the obvious economic benefits to be gained from investing in social care – from local employment opportunities to helping people to live at home, independently, for longer – the urgency being felt across the sector for a sustainable, well-funded programme for change has not been fully addressed within the policies outlined today

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