New Dr Who Josie Whittaker urges Theresa May to ditch ’devastating’ demands for charities to cough up £400m in back pay to carers

THE NEW Dr Who is urging Theresa May to ditch “devastating” demands for charities cough up £400 million in back pay to carers.

Jodie Whittaker will on Tuesday join other celebs in backing calls from Mencap for Government to pick up the tab – or face a social care catastrophe.

 New Doctor Who revealed as Broadchurch star Jodie Whittaker replaces Peter Capaldi

She says: “The lives of thousands of vulnerable people with a learning disability are about to be devastated.

“They urgently need and deserve all the support we can give them.”

The Taxman is chasing charities and care providers for six years’ worth of back pay to staff who ‘sleep-in’ overnight at the homes of vulnerable people they support.

The Government triggered the demand by changing guidance last autumn to say the staff should be paid the Minimum Wage rather than a cheaper lump sum during the night – even when they are asleep.

Learning disability charity Mencap is warning that care providers will face ruin and have to slash services unless Government settles the bill itself.

The charity is warning that vulnerable Brits with learning disabilities could be forced onto the street as residential care homes close.

 The Doctor Who actress supported Mencap's latest campaign to plug the funding gap in social care
 Gavin and Stacey actor Mathew Horne also backed the campaign
 TV presenter Jo Whiley joined them too
 Game of Thrones actor Kit Harrington also took part

Mencap chief Derek Lewis told the Sun last night: “It was the Government’s mistake and they should pick up the bill.”

Letters demanding action will be sent to First Secretary Damian Green, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Business Secretary Greg Clark today.

Ms Whittaker – a Mencap ambassador – is being joined by other celebs including AbFab star Joanna Lumley, BBC Radio 2 DJ Jo Whiley and Games of Thrones star Kit Harington.

Kit said: “Please stand with Royal Mencap and help us protect the future of learning disability care in the UK.”

The Government in July bowed to pressure by forcing HMRC to put enforcement action on hold but the ‘moratorium’ is lifted on October 2 – the second day of the Tory party conference.

The Department of Health has been carrying out a survey to check the size of the liability facing the care sector – estimated by Mencap at £400 million.


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