Cleverly’s clampdown will be a knockout blow to a crumbling care system

<span>Photograph: 10’000 Hours/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: 10’000 Hours/Getty Images

Social care has been on the ropes for years, following the failure of successive governments to even come up with a funding plan, let alone get a grip on our social care crisis. The announcement of a clampdown on migrant workers could be a knockout blow (‘If you go to Saudi, it’s sunny’: foreign care workers could quit UK after clampdown, 6 December).

This is a fragile sector that relies on skilled and dedicated workers from abroad. By stopping them bringing dependants into the country, many will understandably be put off coming. Yet, with a squeeze on pay and years of underinvestment, it seems highly unlikely workers already in the UK will be rushing to replace them.

With less provision available, ever more pressure will be piled on the 7 million family carers who look after their loved ones at home. These unpaid carers are shouldering the burden of a care system that has been left to crumble. Meanwhile, the government looks on, content to let them pick up the state’s work for free.

Has the government given up on solving this crisis? It looks like that to people in the sector and the millions of unpaid carers, many of whom have been forced to give up work and are struggling to make ends meet as they tend to family and friends. It’s hard not to conclude that our political leaders have thrown up their hands and said: “We don’t care.” Hardly the best slogan for a general election.
Dominic Carter
Director of policy and public affairs, Carers Trust

• One crucial point on the proposed ban on care staff bringing dependants is that care work is extremely demanding, not just physically but emotionally. To forge and maintain empathetic relationships with those in their care requires enormous commitment. To expect them, after a long shift, to go back to an empty home and to do this month after month without the immediate support of their family is unrealistic and inhumane.
Andrew Hillier

• As someone with long experience of appointing people to the care sector, I find the home secretary’s plan appalling. When looking for care workers who have empathy in a stressful job, exploring their own family support systems and domestic stability is a key part of the selection process.

This proposal seems to smack of the colonialism where “inferior” foreigners could work for the benefit of their “masters and mistresses” while having their own and their children’s emotional needs ignored.
Roy Grimwood
Market Drayton, Shropshire

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