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Public back more funding for care workers

Three quarters (73%) of the public support a tax increase to pay for adult social care, a Survation poll for the GMB trade union has revealed.

The survey, conducted in June 2019 and released as GMB launches a nationwide survey of care workers, also shows 68% of the public think adult social care is in a poor state.

Just 7% oppose tax rises to pay for social care, with 59% supporting a reverse to tax cuts – such as corporation tax – to pay for it.

Predictably, most believe carers should be well paid and trained, with 83% saying that pay should reflect the highly skilled and increasingly complex nature of care work.

John McGowan, General Secretary of the Social Workers Union, commented:

The public support fully funded social services, yet the cuts inflicted in recent years are inflicting harm on the very staff needed to deliver vital support.

Our figures show that 60 per cent of social workers are looking to leave their current job within the next 15 months.  It takes up to four years to qualify as a social worker and high attrition rates will increase reliance on contract workers, which in turn will increase the cost.

Cuts to social work are a false economy and we urge the government to listen to the public and invest in vital social care.

GMB has launched a massive care survey to build a picture of the sector across the country.

Earlier this year GMB helped launch an All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Care (APPG Social Care) – a cross-party group of MPs who will look at the care system, funding and state of staffing in the sector.

Kelly Andrews, GMB National Officer, said:

Our social care system isn’t just in crisis – it’s crumbling around our ears.

A third of carers leave the profession every year while funding is woefully behind what is needed.

Throughout our lives, we will all come into contact with care –  be it our mums and dads needing help, working as a carer or knowing someone who does. Ultimately we will all need it ourselves.

GMB will not stop unless this vital service is professionalised.

The dedicated carers we all rely on need the pay and training they deserve.

Image: GMB

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Founder Member of Campaign Collective, chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity and Not-For-Profit Group. Write mainly about charity, public sector and social enterprise communications.