A READER gets in touch to call for better wages for care workers - but that private firms should not cash in on on the profits.

"Three-quaters of the frontline care worker staff in England doing a highly complex job of caring for people with dementia earn below the living wage of £9.50 an hour.

"In the North East, the figure is the highest at 82 per cent, according to Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI).

"These people should provide a perfect test for the prime minister’s new mantra – “high wages and high skills”. But where to find the money?

"CHPI reports that private firms own 94 per cent of care homes and extract £1.5bn annually through profits, rents, director pay and loan repayments, often channelling the money via tax havens.

"If money from largely untaxed profits was diverted to care, workers could be paid an extra forty per cent per hour and be given better training and skills (as well as plenty of PPE) before another pandemic hits.

"All it takes is for Johnson to insist that social care should be not for profit whoever provides it."

D Duell, Durham.