What price for care?

The concern of the care home industry is that after Brexit, the availability of care workers will dry up as the Brits presently depend on migrant workers most of whom are paid below £25000 per annum. Under the new points system £25000 is the minimum salary for a working visa into the UK.

What does that tell us?

  1. We think that Brits are too well paid to be interested in caring for others especially the disabled and the old. These are menial and low level tasks.
  2. Care workers deserve low wages.
  3. We cannot afford to pay a reasonable and acceptable level of reward for care, because we don’t care.

I don’t believe any of the above, and I think most of us don’t. The Government like all those before it, has so far, avoided the issue of social care and health and the integration of them into some sort of responsive whole. One can see their dilemma. It would mean a wholescale revision of taxation and the redistribution of care responsibility from local government to the devolved Ministries of Health. A truly daunting task, made the more difficult by the ever cash guzzling, and despite folklore, the fallible and sometimes wasteful health service.

On the ethical wing of the argument, how much are we prepared to pay for our aged relations and those less fortunate than the majority, to be cared for with devotion and tenderness? It seems the answer is less than £25000 per annum.

The second part of the argument is that Brits decline to take caring jobs because it is beneath them, they would prefer support benefits since the majority it seems have neither the ability or inclination to ‘care’ for others.

The argument I know is far more difficult than these simple exclamations, many families, too many struggle with inadequate state aid to look after ailing and disabled loved ones. However, the basic argument still holds good. We have a fundamental issue with the ‘care’ industry and it boils down to if we as a country care enough and we plainly do not.

This new era, where ‘control of our borders’ has become a major issue , we must not allow this to become a symptom of a non-caring nation, either in the address to our ‘care’ industry but also to the deserving refugees who flee the residue of our colonial past.

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