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Pandemic exposed ‘shameful’ pay and lack of support in care work, say Scottish Labour

SCOTTISH LABOUR’S health team met unpaid carers and their representative organisations today to discuss their first-hand experiences of the cost-of-living crisis.

The meeting took place ahead of the party’s debate on the issue, seeking to highlight the challenges faced by carers and intended to press other parties to take a position on Labour’s plans for support.

During the debate, the party said that the pandemic had exposed poor pay and working practices in social care and left a recruitment crisis, bringing about the need for support for carers.

Labour also pressed the SNP to match the increased mileage allowance for NHS staff in social care, calling it “shameful” that carers have been left with a lower rate.

It argued that there was a need for a strategy from the Scottish government that should include the restoration and expansion of respite services, with entitlements to short breaks and wellbeing services.

Scottish Labour’s public health and social care spokesman Paul O’Kane said: “The pandemic showed us how important paid and unpaid care was, but also how badly undervalued and underfunded it has been.

“Now this cost-of-living crisis is adding pressures to carers’ lives, showing how little the Scottish government has done to address the issues exposed by the pandemic.

“It is nothing short of shameful that the SNP have left carers out of pocket by refusing to uprate their mileage reimbursement.

“The SNP government need to sit down with carers and listen to what they are telling us, because it is transparently clear that their response to this crisis is falling badly short.”

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