Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley said his party will introduce a “real living wage” of at least £7.85 an hour, as part of a plan to improve the quality of the care sector.
Mr Rowley will set out the plan during a visit to a nursing home in Edinburgh today, when he will say increasing pay for care workers will encourage more people to work in the industry.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale yesterday unveiled plans to give £6,000-a-year grants to young people who come from care and manage to win a place at university.
However, Mr Rowley said higher wages for carers would reduce bed-blocking – also known as “delayed discharge” – when patients are ready to leave hospital but cannot do so for reasons such as having no services to look after them.
He said: “That’s why Scottish Labour supports a real living wage for care workers, so that we can make caring a career people will choose for the long term. This will improve the care elderly people receive and relieve the pressure on our NHS.
“Giving care workers a real living wage is the kind of investment our health service needs. By investing in our care workers now we can save hundreds of millions of pounds in the costs of delayed discharge.”