Why we need Action on Pay, Action on Care and Action for Jobs
Between 2017 and 2019, the household incomes of those in the lowest fifth fell by 4% - or nearly £600 year - while the income of the highest quintile increased. Median pay was below its level a decade before. More than half of people living in poverty in Scotland live in households where at least one adult was in paid employment. This situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
The pandemic has exposed the shortcomings of a service which has relied for too long on a flawed model of procurement and endemic low pay. Recent inspections have showed that half of care homes were still failing routine COVID-19 inspections a year on from the start of the pandemic. 43% of The social care workforce in Scotland earns less than the Living Wage. Even before the covid 19 epidemic there was a staffing crisis in social care.
The deindustrialisation of large parts of Scotland in the 1980s has caused gaping wounds which many parts of Scotland have still to heal from. Over the last 25 years, Scotland’s manufacturing workforce has dropped from 346,000 to 179,000. Much of this has been papered over by an increase in low-paid and precarious service sector jobs which are now under threat. The economic scarring impact of one year’s unemployment for an 18-20 year old is estimated to comprise lost earnings of £42,000-133,000 over the next twenty years - equivalent to more than £3 billion in lost earnings for Scotland’s young people.