Care workers to get travelling expenses rise

By Elgan Hearn   |   Local democracy reporter   |
Wednesday 27th July 2022 9:30 am
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Cllr Sian Cox
Cllr Sian Cox (PCC )

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Travelling expenses paid to private sector home care workers will go up to 45 pence per mile after councillors voted in favour of the proposal.

This increase will rise to the same level as Powys County Council pays its own care workers.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the cabinet on Tuesday, July 26, and is to help care workers with the cost of living crisis, which includes record fuel prices.

Cabinet member for a Caring Powys, Cllr Sian Cox said: “It’s the latest of our measures responding to the cost-of-living crisis as it affects our domiciliary care workers and the sustained unsustainable impact this is having on our capacity to meet care needs and wellbeing objectives in Powys.”

“This is in particular on our ability to attract, recruit and retain suitably qualified domiciliary care workers and our ability to fulfil our obligation to provide community-based care so that people ready to leave hospital can.”

Cllr Cox added that the councillors had received “pleas for help” from care workers as they “struggle to make ends meet.”

Cllr Cox added: “We know that care workers are already leaving their jobs to work in retail or hospitality where the absence of travel makes the difference between the work meeting basic living costs or not.

“It’s an urgent situation requiring immediate action.”

Deputy council leader, Cllr Matthew Dorrance said: “I’m pleased to see this, it’s important to provide equity between public and independent sector care workers.”

Cllr Dorrance asked whether any assessment on how to deal with higher travelling costs, as unions had called on the HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs department of the UK Government) to increase these travelling expenses.

“I want to make sure we future proof the decision,” said Cllr Dorrance.

Head of adult social care Michael Gray said: “To date we’ve not had any indication that HMRC will be upping that 45 pence mileage rate.

“The paper was based on the assumption that would not happen any time soon.

“If the rate changed we would have to review this.”

The report says that funding for this will cost £148,991 up to the end of March 2022 and it will come from a budget management reserve.

For future budgets, this cost will be factored in.

The money will be passed onto the external domiciliary care providers, who in turn will pass onto their workforce.

Cabinet voted unanimously to increase the travelling expense rate.

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