Cole-Hamilton to call for higher minimum wage for care workers

19 May 2024
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP

On Sunday, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP will use his speech at his party’s conference to call for new higher minimum wage for all care workers across the UK, relieving pressure on our hospitals.

Alex will say:

"Whether it is end of life palliative care nurses, or your community GP, we are blessed with some of the finest clinicians in the world.

"But I don’t think I need to tell you that there is a crisis in our NHS. It’s self-evident.

"There was a time you could see your GP at the first time of asking. But that’s almost unheard of now.

"I met someone in Caithness at the weekend who rang their surgery 200 times when the phonelines opened at 8.30 last Thursday, before she eventually got through. 200 times. She was offered an appointment for the end of the month.

"Her story is not unique. It’s happening everywhere.

"New parents being told that they could only get an appointment for their sick baby if it was urgent, otherwise they have to wait two weeks.

"And it’s the same with NHS dentistry. It’s been left to rot.

"Patients ordering tools off Amazon to do the job themselves. Flying back to war-torn Ukraine. Conference, it says everything about the state of NHS dentistry that someone has to brave the drones and cruise missiles of downtown Kyiv for basic dental care.

"Be absolutely clear, none of this is the fault of our hardworking staff. They deserve better.

"We need a government that won’t make empty promises but will get the basics right.

"Scottish Liberal Democrats will create world class mental health services by taxing the social media giants who cause so much of the problem.

"That’ll help get you faster access to your GP.

"We’ll make sure everyone can see an NHS dentist by overhauling the failed Recovery Plan and making it easier for qualified foreign dentists to practice here.

"We would scrap the ministerial takeover of social care and dedicate the billions it would cost into making social care a profession of choice.

"Introduce a new higher minimum wage for all carers across the UK, relieving pressure on our hospitals.

"Make no mistake, our National Health Service is on the line. If the SNP can’t see that, or refuse to deal with it, they need to make way for somebody who will."

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