What did anyone think would happen to social care with the national living wage?

This is very bad apparently, really, terribly bad:

The cost of social care rocketed over the last year, even as the proportion of services ranked good or outstanding fell, according to a new analysis.

Social care services directory TrustedCare.co.uk found that the price of a week in a care home jumped by almost a quarter over the last year, from an average of £557.86 a week to £686.32, while the cost of a nursing home rose more than a third from £692.17 per week to £924.82. The price per hour of care visits also rose, from £15.01 to £17.02.

The analysis was based on data from providers registered on TrustedCare, as well as calls made by its researchers to more than 100 services in each English county over the last four months.

Social care in the UK is provided through a mixture of individuals and government payments. However, concerns are growing over the system’s ability to cope with an ageing population and pressures on local government and NHS budgets.

TrustedCare’s researchers also looked at data from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which regulates and monitors social care, and found a 9% drop in the proportion of services ranked as either good or outstanding from 88.9% in 2015 to 79.8% over the past year.

Social care is one of those things where a very large portion of the costs is the minimum wage - and also where a very large portion of the people doing it make minimum wage.

Therefore a rise in the minimum wage is going to bite here and bite hard. And when a minimum wage level does bite there are only four options. Profits, prices, productivity and people.

We raise the costs of performing some activity - something has to give to pay for that. In the public sector there are no profits, thus they cannot take the strain. No one has offered these services more money so public sector prices cannot change. Productivity of course cannot be changed because after years of austerity and decades of pressure on the public sector it all works as productively as possible. There simply is no room for improvement as every Labour party member and every union official tells us.

Thus what we do get - a rise in that portion of the costs carried by the private sector and a decline in either the number of people providing the service or the time in which they have the ability to provide it.

The thing is this is obviously what will happen when a wage rise in this sector is mandated. So why the Hell is everyone surprised when it does?