During Carers’ Week (8-14 June), local Welsh Labour MP, Chris Elmore, has praised the “herculean efforts” of care workers across his Ogmore constituency during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are currently around 370,000 carers in Wales – the highest proportionate figure across all UK nations. It is estimated that there will be over half a million Welsh carers by 2037.
New figures from Carers UK show that as many as 4.5 million more people have become unpaid carers during the coronavirus pandemic across the UK. This adds to the estimated 9.1 million people who already provided unpaid care.
Welsh Labour First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford MS, recently announced a special payment of £500 which is being made available to the 64,600 care home and domiciliary care workers across Wales. This announcement follows the initial £40 million extra funding given to adult social care services by the Welsh Government to help the sector respond to the current crisis.
Chris has joined calls on the UK Government to waive the tax and national insurance deductions due on these payments to ensure care workers receive the full amount in their pay packets. HMRC has so far refused to agree to this.
Chris Elmore MP said:
“This pandemic has shown us how much we rely on all our key workers and our carers. They’ve shown incredible dedication and tenacity during this crisis and I am so proud of the amazing carers we have living locally.
“No amount of money can properly reward carers for their efforts but I’m really pleased the Welsh Labour Government is making a special £500 payment available. It’s only right that this is paid in full to our carers – the Prime Minister should intervene to ensure that HMRC does not tax this payment.
“Once this crisis is finally over, we must not forget the herculean efforts of our care workers and we must ensure we do everything we can to work with them in the future as we build a care sector that is fit for the future.”
A petition has been started to call on the UK Government to waive tax and national insurance deductions from the Welsh Labour Government’s £500 payments to care workers. Local residents can sign this petition here: https://www.welshlabour.wales/let-our-carers-keep-every-penny/.