Former Lib Dem Health Minister Norman Lamb, long respected across all parties for his record on mental health and social care, today revealed results of an investigation he forced during his time as minister into underpayment of the minimum wage to social care workers, some of the hardest working but lowest paid care staff in the country.
The report comes at a time of crisis for social care in the UK as local government cuts take hold and worries increase about employment within the sector after Brexit, due to the large number of EU workers within the profession.
Lamb’s investigation uncovered 180 cases of underpayment of social care workers on the minimum wage, with a staggering £2.5million going unpaid, according to HM Revenue and Customs. In recent years, Lamb, along with the Liberal Democrats, has led the charge for an integrated health and social care system, calling for a cross-party approach to make it happen.
In Commons y'day, I exposed shocking findings of HMRC investigation I initiated as minister – £2.5m under-payment of min wage in social care pic.twitter.com/uMlSTvSTnA
— Norman Lamb (@normanlamb) June 30, 2017
These revelations come only weeks after Theresa May was forced to make a u-turn on her unpopular ‘dementia tax’ plan to fund social care. The long term funding and structure of social care is extremely important given the UK’s ageing population, with questions about it increasingly being part of the mainstream political debate. The findings of Lamb’s investigation are likely to have significant ramifications for the future.