Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer has rejected his own party’s calls for a £15 an hour minimum wage – despite acknowledging the effect of low pay on care workers.
The motion – passed by delegates on the conference floor – was rejected by the leader, who in an admission to ITV’s Good Morning Britain (7m40s) said: “I have close relatives who are care workers… I absolutely know what it means to live on the minimum wage. I know the weekly struggle.”
Instead, Starmer said the party had already committed to a minimum wage of “at least” £10-an-hour.
The conference motion comes as GMB revealed the Government’s National Insurance tax hikes will snatch more than £116 million from care workers’ pay packets.
Cath Pinder, GMB delegate moving the motion, said:
“The UK’s care sector is broken. People cannot access the care they deserve, and care workers are chronically underpaid and undervalued.
“There will be more than 170,000 care vacancies by the end of the year, and we all know the reason: there is not a labour shortage, but a wage shortage.
“Care workers are paid the bare minimum while care home residents shell out their life savings just to have dignity in old age.
“£15 is the UK average hourly wage. Conference, can we all agree that care work is worth at least that? “