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URGENT: fair treatment for adults with a learning disability

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TheSeptemberIssue · 26/02/2016 14:02

The Government must properly fund the National Living Wage before vulnerable people with learning disabilities are left without vital specialist support

People with learning disabilities are among the most vulnerable in our society. They rely on specialist support providers like the charity Hft. Without these services, there is a real risk to their continued wellbeing. For some the removal of these services would be truly tragic or life-threatening.

We strongly believe in paying our staff more for their skills and expertise. We fully support the introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW) from April. But, we do not believe that this compulsory increase is being factored into the fees that we are to be paid by Local Authorities from April, which will otherwise still be based on the current National Minimum Wage.

In a nutshell:-
• The biggest cost for a learning disability support provider like Hft is staff wages – 70-80% of our total costs.
•We’re funded by Local Authorities who, in order to make savings, have been steadily reducing the hourly rate they pay us over the last five years.

• The new National Living Wage must be covered in the fees paid by Local Authorities if organisations like Hft are to continue to provide this essential service.

• Paying the new National Living Wage will add 7.5% to our wage bill this April. And by April 2020, that bill will have risen by a further massive 25%, adding a third to our wage bill in just four years.

Our work with other organisations like us has shown that an underfunded National Living Wage will contribute to a funding shortfall of some £380million THIS YEAR, ramping up to £1.3billion in 2020: a cumulative shortfall of close to £4.8billion (data collated by the LD Voices group). This will likely result in charities and other organisations providing this care going out of business, and lead to devastating consequences for the thousands of people reliant on them for their care.

No additional funds for the NLW if you are a charity

George Osborne’s November “Budget” offered no solutions - the new 2% increase, available for Local Authorities to raise additional funds for adult social care, is simply not enough to address the shortfall.

It doesn’t add up

We do not believe that the government has fully understood how serious this situation is. No realistic solution has been offered. We believe that without urgent action and funding for the National Living Wage, it is only a matter of time before there is a total inability to deliver this care.

This issue is so critical to the care sector that we need to take action. We are asking you to act NOW to stop vulnerable people with learning disabilities from being left without the essential support they need.

George - please fund the National Living Wage

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