- Published: Monday, 07 December 2020 11:32
- Written by News Editor
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The Scottish Government is to make a one-off £500 bonus to NHS staff for their work during the pandemic. SNP MPs have, however, criticised the Treasury for not exempting this payment from tax. BDA Scotland said that welcome though the payment was it will not make up for a decade of pay restraint.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a one-off payment for Scotland’s lifesavers and care-givers on the frontline throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. A pro rated payment of £500 will be made as soon as is practicable to all NHS and social care workers employed since 17 March 2020 - including staff who have had to shield, or who have since retired. Staff providing NHS services under independent contractor arrangements including NHS Dental surgery staff will be included.
The First Minister said: “Those who have worked in our hospitals and care homes - at the sharpest end of the COVID trauma - deserve recognition now. So I can announce today that, on behalf of us all, the Scottish Government will give every full time NHS and social care worker £500 as a one-off thank you payment for their extraordinary service in this toughest of years. Those who work part time will get a proportionate share.”
Commenting on HM Treasry’s refusal to exempt these payments from tax, the Leader of Westminister’s Scottish National Party MPs, @Ianblackford_MP tweeted: “This is appalling. The Tory treasury appears to be rejecting the Scottish Government’s plea to lift its tax on @NicolaSturgeon’s £500 ’Thank You’ payment to NHS & social care workers. @BorisJohnson must order an immediate U-turn on his bid to punish NHS and care workers.”
The British Dental Association Scotland has said that the £500 ’gift’ to frontline NHS workers is no substitute for long-term commitments to above-inflation pay awards. Robert Donald, Chair of the British Dental Association’s Scottish Council said: "We are pleased to see some recognition for frontline staff, but £500 will not make up for a decade of pay restraint that’s hit colleagues in every NHS practice, hospital and clinic in Scotland. If the Scottish Government really wants to say thank you to this service it will ensure pay cuts remain a thing of the past."
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