Poll: Is it time we stopped clapping for carers?
PUBLISHED: 09:13 28 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:09 28 May 2020
The founder of Clap for Carers has called for the gesture to be stopped.
Millions take to their doorsteps every Thursday night to show their appreciation for the NHS and key workers.
Landmarks have also been lit up in tribute to those in the front line.
But Annemarie Plas, who started the ritual 10 weeks ago, believes it has now become politicised.
Ms Plas, a 36-year-old yoga teacher from London, wants tonight’s clap to be the last.
She told Sky News: “Without getting too political, I share some of the opinions that some people have about it becoming politicised.
“I think the narrative is starting to change and I don’t want the clap to be negative.”
It comes as a campaign is launched for the social care sector to receive a £1.4bn cash boost to make sure workers are paid the so-called Real Living Wage.
Charity Citizens UK said around 280,000 social care workers are in insecure and low-paid work that leaves them particularly vulnerable to coronavirus.
A petition has been launched appealing for Health Secretary Matthew Hancock to adequately fund social care and ensure care workers and all social care sector staff get at least the Real Living Wage of £10.75 an hour in London and £9.30 in the rest of the UK, which is higher than the statutory minimum of £8.72 for adults.
Citizens UK said care workers, academics, unions, faith leaders, teachers and others have come together to back the appeal for better pay and protection for social care sector workers.
Matthew Bolton, executive director of Citizens UK, said: “Today we are focusing on the social care sector given the huge rates of infection in the country’s care homes.
“These incredible people go out every morning to look after our loved ones, risking their lives to do so, often on the minimum wage.
“It’s important we take the next few weeks to celebrate our key workers, but also to remember that a Real Living Wage should be the least they deserve.”
John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, said: “It is just morally wrong to put our care workers on the front line in the face of infection and potential death, with limited personal protective equipment and to do that for poverty pay.
“For me this is simply unacceptable. I hope that if this epidemic teaches us anything, it will be to draw us back to justice, compassion and love.”
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