Scotland’s social care sector is a £ 5bn engine of economic growth

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It contributes over £ 5.1 billion and supports 300,000 jobs

The positive impact of the social care sector on the Scottish economy has been revealed in a new report.

It shows that far from being a burden on public finances, the sector contributes more than 5.1 billion pounds of gross value added (GVA) to the country’s economy and supports some 300,000 jobs.

Commissioned by Enable and produced by Biggar Economics, The healthcare sector in Scotland: an economic driver, demonstrates that the direct economic impact of social protection is over £ 3.3bn GVA and that its indirect economic impact, through supply chains and supporting industries, contributes £ 800m sterling.

The impact of the employee sector spending their wages generates £ 1.1bn.

Meanwhile, increasing wages for frontline social workers in Scotland will significantly boost the national economy – generating additional tax revenue, reducing the need for work-related benefits and allowing higher spending in the real economy.

The report finds that social care has the potential to be a win-win “super-policy”, as it can achieve positive results in a wide range of areas without unintended negative results.

Therese Shearer, The CEO of Enable Group said: “This new report presents a detailed economic analysis that strengthens the case for a significant investment in social care, and in particular, demonstrates how the increase in the remuneration of the staff of frontline social care benefits the economy at large.

“As the population ages and expectations of truly human rights-focused self-managed support rightly rise, the social care sector should no longer be seen as a costly burden, but as a thriving engine of inclusive and sustainable growth for Scotland’s future economy. . ”

Enable Scotland immediately switches to increase the rate of pay for its frontline social workforce to at least £ 10 per contract hour from today (1 October).

The move, supported by the Unison union, would raise the minimum wage for Enable’s personal assistants to 50 pence above the real living wage rate of £ 9.50 per hour, and is equivalent to a 5.2 wage increase. % – worth over £ 1000 per year for a full-time caregiver.

On the report, Graeme Blackett, Director of Biggar Economics, said: “The healthcare industry is often discussed in terms of the challenges of its funding. However, this study shows that we need to recognize the significant contribution the care sector makes to the Scottish economy and how it can be an engine of sustainable and inclusive growth as the Scottish population ages, if wage levels reflect the value of care to society.

Professor Nick Watson, Chair of Disability Studies at the University of Glasgow, welcomed the report, adding: “Too often care is presented as a burden; as something that we as a society are obligated to provide and as a drain on our economy; using resources that would be better spent elsewhere. In this excellent report, Enable turned the tables on this idea and was able to show the contribution of care and the care sector to our economy. It is, as the report shows, one of Scotland’s largest industries, employing large numbers of people and generating wealth in the process. The healthcare sector should be seen as an asset for our community and not as a burden. “

“Investing in the healthcare sector will not only provide better support to those it cares for, it will also help stimulate our economy and provide good, safe and rewarding jobs. Hopefully this report will advance discussions and help change the way the financing and economics of care and the care sector are framed. ”


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