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Price presses Drakeford to commit to £10 an hour minimum wage for carers

23 Feb 2021 3 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford. Picture by CPMR – Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CC BY-SA 2.0) Adam Price picture by Plaid Cymru.

Plaid Cymru have pressed the First Minister Mark Drakeford to commit to a £10 an hour minimum wage for all care workers in Wales.

Mr Drakeford was challenged to give carers a pay rise by Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price during today’s First Minister’s Questions.

The First Minister however responded that Adam Price was “asking me to spend money that he hasn’t got and I haven’t got”.

Last week, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Angela Rayner, also called for the Government in England to commit to a care worker’s minimum wage of £10 an hour.

Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said the First Minister’s refusal to match his party colleague’s commitment was “disappointing”.

But Mark Drakeford said that the money to fund a pay rise would depend on the UK Government.

“I certainly agree with the Member that it’s unacceptable that people who have done so much, and at the front line, during the pandemic are not paid at a level that recognises the value and importance of the work that they do,” Mark Drakeford said.

“Of course, if my party at Westminster succeeds in persuading the UK Government to make such a payment, there will be money that will come to Wales to allow us to fund such a commitment, but I always have to ask myself where the money will come from.”

‘Undervalued’

According to Resolution Foundation, 56% of care workers in Wales receive less than the Real Living Wage.

Adam Price said that giving care workers a pay rise would be a “priority” for a Plaid Cymru Government adding it was time for Wales to have a government “that will really care for our carers”.

“Our care workers were underpaid and undervalued long before the Covid pandemic struck,” he said.

“It is disappointing that the First Minister refuses to match the commitment outlined by his party’s Deputy Leader just last week of £10 minimum wage for carers – even here in government where he has the power to make a difference to tens of thousands of workers’ lives and the people that depend upon them.

“The unions are calling for a real living wage for all care workers, the care sector is demanding this, the Bevan Foundation has called for it.  For a Plaid Cymru Government it would be a priority.

“A Plaid Cymru Government would start off by paying every care worker a minimum wage of £10 an hour. But we will go even further – working towards bringing care sector pay in line with NHS salaries, with care workers playing an integral part in the new National Health and Care Service that a Plaid Cymru government would create.

“It’s time for Wales to have a government that will really care for our carers – fair play through fair pay.”

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