A CAMPAIGN group is lobbying the Government and the county council to raise the level of subsidy for care workers to the payment of the Real Living Wage.

Hexham Living Wage group are joining Citizens UK to ask for funding to be made available to enable the payment of the Real Living Wage (£9.30ph) to all care workers, in line with the Scottish Government’s move in April.

The latest available comparative figures for March last year, when the National Living/Minimum Wage was £7.38ph and the Real Living Wage was £9ph, show that the national average wage rate for care workers was £8.41ph and in Northumberland the rate was £8.07ph.

The Real Living Wage is calculated annually and is based on a ‘basket’ of goods and services which focus groups agreed were essential to live an adequate life in society.

The group said that carers working for less then the Real Living Wage are forced to work long hours, often neglecting family and their own health to do so, and must deal with the insecurity and unpredictability of zero hour contracts.

Figures also show that residential care in Northumberland pays a lower rate of subsidy (between £24.48 and £98.96 per week, per person) less than other North-East authorities, which care providers say makes the payment of the Real Living Wage impossible.

The Hexham Living Wage group will host a ‘Real Clap for Carers’ on Saturday, October 3 at 10.30am on Zoom. Register at eventbrite via www.facebook.com/real-living-wage-hexham or at www.tynedaletransformed.org

To sign the petition to the county council, visit www.change.org.