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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 April 2017

900 carers quit a day - nationalise social care now

900 carers quit a day photo Joe D Miles for CQC (Creative Commons)

900 carers quit a day photo Joe D Miles for CQC (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Rich Edwards, Cardiff East Socialist Party

Over 900 carers quit every day last year in England, according to the charity Skills for Care.

They are leaving a badly underfunded, poorly regulated and mindlessly privatised public service. Care is on the verge of a complete collapse.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has announced plans for unpaid carers - partners and family members who are unable to work because of their duties - to receive higher benefits. This is very welcome.

But unfortunately the increase is only to the pitiful level of jobseekers' allowance. As well as a minimum wage of £10 an hour, Corbyn should pledge living benefits to really appeal to downtrodden voters.

It also does not address the lack of affordable professional care which means too many working families have no choice but to do the job themselves. The Tories are vulnerable on this issue, and Corbyn's Labour must hammer them as part of its election campaign.

The provision of social care in the UK is in a generational crisis due to attacks from successive Tory governments, passed on by Blairite councils. Bold and decisive action is required to protect the elderly and vulnerable - nationalise care homes now, and the entire social care industry!

5% of care positions in the UK are currently vacant, and up to 25% of those working in the industry do so on insecure and super-exploitative a zero-hour contracts. Skills for Care also found that the average wage in the industry is just £7.69 an hour - far below the minimum necessary for any worker to live and work securely and happily.

Like many people, I have watched elderly family members move through Britain's social care system. I witnessed first-hand the patience, intelligence, hard work and compassion displayed by those working within the industry.

The injustice and shame of a privatised, exploitative and profit-seeking care industry must stop now. Nationalise all health and social care. Introduce secure jobs and hours and a real living wage for all carers across the UK - with £10 an hour a good first step.

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In The Socialist 19 April 2017:

What we think

Defeat the millionaires' Tory government

Socialist Party news and analysis

900 carers quit a day - nationalise social care now

Fight the Sun's bigoted lies

Benefits workers oppose 'rape clause' and two-child limit

Joint struggle can stop tuition fee interest hike

Them & Us

Jobstown Not Guilty

Protest is not a crime: back Jobstown Not Guilty

Save our NHS

What kind of movement is needed to save our NHS?

International socialist news and analysis

Trump escalates geopolitical tensions on Korean peninsula

Turkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

French presidential election: Mélenchon campaign gains momentum

Relaunch of

Workplace news and analysis

CWU conference: fight Royal Mail pension attack

Workers sailing to victory on Woolwich ferry

PCS ballot papers out: vote Democracy Alliance

Weapons workers continue pension strike

Mood for a fightback at education conferences

Picturehouse cinema strike spreads

National Shop Stewards Network conference 2017

Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Mass movements, not 'fringe cultures', can win feminist change

Buses and buggies: a driver speaks

The Socialist inbox

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

TUSC backs RMT Save Our Guards campaign, while local Labour Party blocks debate

Energetic start to TUSC local election campaigning

Doncaster mayoral election: Socialist Steve campaign diary

TUSC council candidate vows never to go to the 'dark side'!


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