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100,000 carers trapped on Universal Credit as £20 cut looms

14 Sep 2021
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At least 100,000 carers in the UK are trapped on universal credit, GMB research shows.  

New GMB analysis of the latest official data reveals one in ten care workers are in receipt of in-work benefits.  

Care workers were paid just £8.72 an hour on average in England last year – with a third of care workers on zero hours contracts, rising to half in London. 

Social security status 

Percent 

On Universal Credit 

99,325 

10.8 

Not on Universal Credit 

816,651 

89.2 

The revelation comes as TUC congress this week debated GMB’s demand for a £15 minimum rate for care workers.  

Kelly Andrews, GMB National Care Lead, said:  

“It should be a source of national shame that the dedicated care workers who supported and cared for individuals and kept many alive during pandemic are paid so badly that they are on Universal Credit.  

"The Government is subsidising exploitation of our care workers.

"Our care sector is already facing up to 170,000 vacancies by the end of the year and a mandatory vaccine that could force thousands more away.   

“With the Government’s plan to slash Universal Credit payments by £20 a week in October, we are heading for a perfect storm.   

"GMB is campaigning for a £15 an hour minimum for care workers – the least they deserve.”  

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