Council leaders told billions being taken out of care system by profiteering and property finance

UNISON Cymru/Wales care lead Mark Turner

Council leaders will be among guests at a UNISON event focusing on the billions of pounds being extracted from the care system through profiteering and financing property.

Cardiff Council leader Huw Thomas and Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart will attend the event tomorrow (Tuesday 3 October) at UNISON’s Cardiff offices.

A report from the Centre for International Corporate Tax Accountability and Research (CICTAR) will warn the UK care system risks sleepwalking into an escalating crisis of rising costs as the result of raising finance through property.

The CICTAR report reveals an estimated £1.3bn per year (£24.8m a week or £8,000 per bed per year) of rent is being paid to private landlords across the UK, with profit margins as high as 80%.

UNISON Cymru/Wales is calling for a care service directly provided by councils, with no role for profit as the best way to lift care workers out of in-work poverty and improve the quality of care.

UNISON Cymru/Wales care lead Mark Turner (pictured above) said: “People who need care and care workers are being massively let down by the current system.

“Huge amounts of money are being drained from an already struggling sector to line the pockets of landlords and private companies.

“Care directly provided by councils is the only way to reverse this and ensure money so badly needed by those providing these vital services is spent supporting them and not private profit.”

CICTAR report author Vivek Kotecha said: “The reliance on private care home landlords charging ever increasing rental payments pushes up costs in the long term.

“It may also concentrate new care home development where property prices have increased rather than areas with greatest need.

“Specific reforms could recover an estimated £1bn per year in the UK to fund adequate staffing levels and better pay.

“The Welsh government is well placed to show progressive leadership and to make reforms a national priority to improve the quality of care for some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Notes to editors