Response to Boris Johnson’s social care announcement

7 September 2021

Boris Johnson’s announcement today is woefully inadequate and will pass the burden of social care provision onto young people and those in receipt of low incomes – including care and support workers who deliver the essential services. This is far from the Conservative and Unionist Party’s promise of ‘levelling up’.

It is incredibly disappointing to hear that whilst there is a clear and present crisis in social care that no funds will be distributed in this parliament with the initial money going to address the backlog in the NHS. We are at breaking point and nothing is coming for years!

With over 80% of care homes in the private sector there is no guarantee that any of this money will go to the right place. It’s like pouring working people’s taxes into a colander which gushes into rich shareholders pockets and not to workers who have braved the pandemic on the frontline!

Not once during his statement did Johnson mention the appalling terms and conditions which care and support workers face – non paid travel time between clients, the fact we are not even entitled to minimum wage whilst on sleep in shifts, the fact that carers are leaving in droves to work for Amazon as the stress and ill health we face have just become intolerable. Not once did he mention the crisis in recruitment and retention which is soon to be exacerbated by care workers who feel that mandatory vaccinations are the final straw. If Johnson was committed to tackling the 112,000 vacancies, we see in social care a guaranteed living wage would be a start! How can we be essential workers but not worthy of a living wage?!

There are so many unmet needs in our communities; disabled people are stuck with crushing social care charges making any quality of life impossible. Only a radical transformation of social care will begin to address the years of neglect social care has faced and today’s announcement is far from that.

We will be paying more for services WE provide whilst receiving poverty wages! This is dismal.