Opinion: funding vital for rise in NLW
So, the National Living Wage is to rise by 6.2% in April which will quite rightly please workers the length and breadth of the country.
Quite right too, many would say, especially after these years of austerity, and very much overdue.
But for the care sector, there are potentially very serious repercussions, especially with the way things stand with regards to state funding.
The rise in wages will have to be shouldered by the care companies, the bulk of which are running on the slimmest of margins as it is.
If we are not going to see operators across the country go to the wall, the local authorities are going to have to step and, to use a cliché, “smell the coffee”.
Everyone knows that councils have been forced into stringent cost-cutting programmes, largely through no fault of their own.
But surely the most vulnerable in society should be at the top of any council’s priority list – and this most certainly includes the elderly.
They may not like it but it’s a fact – local authorities must increase funding to an already beleaguered sector. With the rise in the NLW it could reach breaking point.
The consequences for the elderly – those who have been paying taxes and National Insurance all their lives – are simply too awful to contemplate.