Byers hurls wages thunderbolt as care home owners huddle in Westminster bunker


Posted on February 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

As Trade Secretary Stephen Byers announced, in the House of Commons, a 10% increase in the National Minimum Wage to £4.10 an hour, care home owners were trying to bend the ears of MPs in the corridors below. Close to 800 care home owners had gathered at Westminster on March 5 as part of a mass lobby organised by the National Care Homes Association (NCHSA). The purpose of the lobby was to raise politicians¹ and the media¹s awareness of the beleaguered state of the long term care sector, with ever more care homes closing as inadequate funding, increasing costs take their inevitable toll. The blunt irony of Mr Byers’ announcement on the minimum wage was not lost on NCHA chairman Barry Hartley who presided over a gathering of the protesting care home owners in a chamber just yards away from where Labour MPs were cheering the Trade Secretary’s vote-catching announcement. “He is ringing our death-knell,” Mr Hartley told the angry gathering in the bunker. “For an average care home this wage increase, which we kno





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