Such a busy day again. So tonight I’m going to post a link to an article by Melinda Gates in today’s Financial Times, which pretty much sums up what I’ve thought for ages.

I’ve often thought about doing a blogpost which would detail the value of unpaid carers to society. Think about the (very approximate) annual salaries of the professionals who would charge for  their time instead of carrying out these tasks for free:

Live in Nanny:  £25,000 per annum

Chauffeur:        £26,000 per annum

Cook:                £10.00 per hour

Cleaner:            £10.00 per hour

Dog walker:       £10.00 per hour

Babysitter:         £ 7.00 per hour

Tutor:                 £21,000 per annum

Nurse:                £23,000 per annum

PA:                       £25,000 per annum

Lifecoach:           £24,000 per annum


shopper:             £17,000 per annum


OK, so these are rough and ready figures but they soon add up and there are things I’ve been too sleepy to quantify such as laundry person, a personal therapist; a hairdresser; a relationship counsellor or maker of costumes: that sort of thing.

It has become clear to me when sorting out this blog post that all those occupations listed up there, performed for free by a carer at home (whether it’s caring for children or an elderly relative or whomever) is not exhaustive. For example, I was a music teacher to my children when they were young, as well as a sergeant major. You see my point, though.

Perhaps it’s about time we started valuing people who perform these functions out of love or duty or because it’s the right and responsible thing to do. They might have made a lot of sacrifices in their own lives to do all this. They might not be economically productive in a way quantifiable by conventional (dare I say it, patriarchal) economics but the economy could not exist without their support.