Governor of the Bank of England urged to visit care homes and speak to workforce about pay

Union leaders have expressed hopes that the governor of the Bank of England will visit care homes and speak to workers about pay following his appearance before a committee of MPs on Wednesday.

Andrew Bailey (pictured) was criticised for suggesting workers should not ask for big pay rises to help curb inflation, leading to an invitation from the GMB to spend a day in a care home to witness life on low pay.

When questioned by Angela Eagle MP at the Treasury Select Committee about making a visit, Bailey said he will “certainly” go to a “whole range” of care homes “because it is an important sector”.

GMB general secretary Gary Smith invited Mr Bailey to spend a day shadowing low-paid care workers “upon whom ‘restraint’ has been imposed for too long”, saying: “You do not appear to have called for restraint in price setting or dividend payments.”

The GMB said it has yet to receive a reply to the invitation and has written to Mr Bailey again today.

Mr Smith said: “Mr Bailey made it quite clear he still thinks the answer to the cost of living crisis is to hold down wages.

“Let’s hope he follows through on his commitment to meet the low-paid workers in the care sector who he thinks should show pay ‘restraint’.

“GMB members working in care homes will want to know why he thinks they shouldn’t ask for a big pay rise when monstrous bonuses are once again being enjoyed by bankers.”

Labour MP for Mitcham and Morden Siobhain McDonagh pressed Mr Bailey further on care worker wages at the hearing.

Mr Bailey said: “I don’t think it’s appropriate for me as governor of the Bank of England to make an observation about the pay level of a particular group in society.

“My mother was in a care home for several years. I had close experience of it and I have enormous respect for people who work in care homes. It’s a very, very difficult environment to work in.”

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