I agree that the work carried out by care workers is absolutely vital, ensuring that people who need support are able to live full, rewarding lives. This has been even more important during the coronavirus pandemic, where many care workers have gone above and beyond in caring for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
Since 2015, local authorities have had greater flexibility over the use of the council tax social care precept, so they can choose to raise extra money, as well as retain savings from the New Homes Bonus, totalling £240 million. Moreover, in September 2019, an extra £1.5 billion was made available to councils for adult social care services.
I am proud to have been elected on a Conservative manifesto that included a commitment to building the same level of consensus on social care as we have on the NHS, so we can build a sustainably funded social care system, supported across the political divide. The Government is currently working to develop its plan for reforming the system, and I will continue to monitor this process.
Care work shares many transferable skills with nursing, and I believe that it should be easier for care workers to gain the relevant qualifications and build a career in nursing. I raised this with the Health Secretary in the House of Commons, and he endorsed the idea of a specialised training course for care workers seeking to enter nursing. I look forward to taking this proposal further.