Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner pledges real living wage for care workers in Wales

The UK Labour Party's Deputy leader has used a campaign visit to Rhyl to amplify her party's pledge to ensure care home staff receive the real living wage.

Angela Rayner MP joined Vaughan Gething in Rhyl ahead of the Senedd elections that take place next month.

In Welsh Labour's campaign launch on 18 March, Mark Drakeford said, “We’ll guarantee the Real Living Wage for all our social care staff and we’ll continue to cap non-residential care fees and maintain the £50,000 capital limit, helping people hold onto more of their savings before paying for care".

Angela Rayner MP was joined by Vaughan Gething as they campaigned in Rhyl Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Ms Rayner, who used to be a social care worker before becoming an MP, was asked why her party was only committing to a real living wage for carers after more than 20 years in power in Wales.

"Labour have been raising the standards despite ten years of austerity from the UK Government", Ms Rayner said.

"The Welsh Labour government have made sure there's free prescriptions, they've made sure the laptops are in the care homes so they can have the communication, that care workers were given the payments.

"They've acted where the UK Government have failed to act".

The minimum wage is currently £8.91 per hour if you are over 23. The Real Live Wage has been calculated as £9.50.

The pay rise for care home workers would equate to around 6%. The Welsh Health Minister was asked if care homes would be able to absorb that extra cost.

"We are going to have to fund part of the rise to the Real Living Wage, that's part of the deal, this is not a cost neutral pledge", Mr Gething said.

"We know we are going to need to inject more money to make sure it goes into staff pockets".

Welsh Labour's care home wages pledge was criticised by their opponents in the Senedd.

A Welsh Welsh Conservatives spokesperson said, "Labour have had 22 years to deliver improved pay and conditions for social care staff in Wales but have sadly let them down time after time, and there's no reason to believe this election will be any different. "Welsh Conservatives would introduce a Welsh Minimum Care Wage of £10 per hour to boost the pay of our dedicated care workers across Wales in recognition of their vital work."

A Plaid Cymru spokesperson said, “If Labour were really serious about increasing pay for our highly valuable care workers, then they wouldn’t have voted against Plaid Cymru’s motion for a minimum wage of £10 an hour for social care workers in Wales.“Plaid Cymru will build the best national health and care service, training and recruiting 1,000 new Doctors and 5,000 new Nurses and allied staff, free personal care at the point of need for the elderly, ending the divide between health and social care, and guaranteeing a minimum wage of £10 an hour for care workers.”

The Senedd Elections take place on Thursday 6 May.