Hunt on care as a ‘commercial opportunity’.

You have been paying NI all your life. it was never going to be enough to fund the increases in life expectancy or the number of years experienced as frail. Care is currently a commodity in a failing market. The answer may lie in a mix of not for profit social enterprises, charities and private insurance schemes. We could of course socialise the risk and pool resources through the general taxation system so that we share costs. That however is a political decision not favoured currently. ‘For profit’ providers have so far shown to be not up to the job as LA funding decreases and costs go up. This is a sector characterised by low status, low pay and little training, staffed mainly by women as an extension of domestic labour who often provide care to residents over and above their pay as a ‘gift’. Hunt is right: this is a ‘big commercial opportunity‘ – as is the hotel service sector. They share the same experience for its workers: low status, low pay and dirty work. Owners and shareholders will rub their hands with glee if they can get the same profits out of care as they can hotels. They will call for labour market ‘flexibility’ to continue, and light touch regulation to keep costs down. There is no getting around the fact that care costs individuals their time and labour to provide. If society designs itself in such a way that this time and labour will be provided free, and by women, then this society is exploitative. Care is vital, it is ‘social reproduction’ without which we all perish. Seeing it only through the prism of ‘commercial opportunity’ devalues this vital life force, but I expect nothing more from this bunch of privileged elite millionaires who will no doubt not flinch in paying for care at Savoy Hotel standards while the rest of us sit in pool of piss.


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