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Scots Tories urged to come out of hiding to defend care system

24 February, 2020 - 15:16

Care sector leaders have written to new Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw warning that new UK immigration proposals will make delivering care “impossible”.

The call comes after the Scottish Conservatives were criticised for refusing to appear in the media to defend the UK Government’s new immigration policy to exclude lower-paid workers.

In a letter sent to Jackson Carlaw, Scottish Care have highlighted the high number of vacancies within the care profession, with 9 out of 10 of their members unable to fill vacancies, and said that this “critical shortage of staff” will only worsen under the Tories’ new immigration system.

The letter also outlines the importance of the care sector being able to recruit from a diverse field and slams the Tories’ characterisation of care workers as “low-skilled”.

It urges Mr Carlaw to make representations to the Home Secretary and Prime Minister on behalf of the care sector, and warns that if the immigration rules do not change, delivery of care to the people of Scotland will become “impossible”.

Responding, Scottish Greens Health and Sport Spokesperson, Alison Johnstone said:

“The Tories devaluation of care workers, who support and care for so many of us, is appalling. Labelling work which requires immense compassion, dedication and resilience as ‘low-skilled’ is deeply insulting to those who carry out such work, often while experiencing low-pay and extra pressures caused by staff shortages.

“The fact is we need care workers: to look after us, our family and our friends. They are often there for us in our times of greatest need and to dismiss or undervalue the contribution they make to Scotland is short-sighted at best.

“Jackson Carlaw needs to come out of hiding, listen to those on the frontline and stand up for the people of Scotland, by arguing for the new immigration system to be scrapped immediately. To do otherwise is to put our entire care system in jeopardy and risk considerable harm to some of Scotland’s most vulnerable people.”