Analysis shows staggering value of unpaid care in Scotland as new global Oxfam report highlights the scale of extreme inequality.
Oxfam International has published their annual state of inequality report. Every year it has a secondary theme, and this time the theme is unpaid care work. The report title is ‘Time to Care’ and it makes the connection between economic inequality, gender inequality and care work.
Separate analysis released by Oxfam Scotland shows that unpaid care work in Scotland is worth an estimated £36 billion every year. Care work includes looking after children, elderly people, disabled people and those with additional needs, as well as daily domestic work like cooking and cleaning. Without someone investing in these essential daily tasks, communities, workplaces and whole economies would grind to a halt.
New polling shows four in five people in Scotland believe unpaid care work is not valued highly enough, with strong support for measures to address this. Ahead of the Scottish budget, Oxfam Scotland is calling for additional investment to better value unpaid care work in Scotland.
Responding to Oxfam’s analysis Professor Ian Welsh OBE, Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE), said:
“This new data gives us an insight into the astonishing value of unpaid care in Scotland, highlighting like never before the importance of unpaid carers to the people they care for but also to Scottish society. Without their £36bn contribution, Scotland’s health and social care system would be unable to function as it currently does.
The ALLIANCE, through our Carer Voices project, has long called for a greater importance to be placed on listening to the voices of unpaid carers as experts by experience and this new data makes this case even stronger. Unpaid carers must attract the support that their role rightly deserves.”