A rate of £15 an hour is the least that our heroic social care staff deserve, Iain Gray MSP and Martin Whitfield have said, ahead of the Stage One parliamentary debate on the budget.

Scottish Labour is calling for the implementation of a £15 an hour rate for all social care workers at this budget and has said that the workforce has been undervalued and underpaid for too long.

A survey conducted by the GMB union, which initiated the campaign for a £15 an hour rate, found that 98 per cent of social care workers felt they were not paid properly for their job.

The survey also found that over half (52 per cent) of social care workers felt undervalued by the Scottish Government and that over a quarter (27 per cent) of those surveyed stated that their current wage was not enough to make ends meet. 

One social care worker surveyed said: “I find that amount (£9.50) a ridiculously low increase for an industry that has had to keep on going right through the Covid-19 pandemic, potentially risking ourselves, our loved ones and our service users of contracting Covid-19.”

Another added: “For the big responsibility we all have working in the care setting it is not showing in our wages and the government don’t seem to see this at all nor appreciate what we do for other peoples loved ones.”

Iain Gray MSP said:

“Scottish Labour has been calling for a National Care Service since 2007, and we are glad to see others now backing the call. But if that National Care Service is not accompanied by a substantial rise in pay for social care workers, then it is a National Care Service in name only. 

“If our care system is failing to look after the very people who provide the care service, something must be badly wrong. At this budget, Scottish Labour is fighting for £15 for our care workers and is calling on the SNP to back our call.” 

Martin Whitfield said:

“The results of the GMB’s survey paint the picture in social care vividly. The overwhelming majority feel that they are underpaid, a majority feel undervalued by the Scottish Government, and, shockingly, over a quarter are struggling to make ends meet. 

“Social care workers have been undervalued and underpaid for far too long – at this budget, Scottish Labour is committed to ending this once and for all. £15 is the least that they deserve.”

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