South Scotland MSP, Emma Harper is urging Boris Johnson to “do the right thing” and allow the Scottish Government’s £500 bonus for NHS and social care workers to be paid in full – after warnings that, unless the payment is made tax-free, some of the lowest paid workers and those on Universal Credit will benefit the least.
The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has suggested that “if the bonus is taxed, then those on some of the lowest incomes stand to benefit the least” and that many could receive a vastly reduced sum if the Treasury doesn’t exempt the payment.
People on Universal Credit could also be penalised due to the way the benefit is calculated, with the group warning that “because the payment is likely to be liable for tax as earnings, NHS and care workers receiving Universal Credit could see their benefit payments reduced.”
TAX EXEMPTION ONLY WAY TO GET MAXIMUM BENEFIT TO THE LOWEST-PAID WORKERS
Despite that, Treasury officials have rejected a plea from the SNP for the bonus to be paid in full.
SNP MSP, and Registered Nurse, Emma Harper said:
“It’s shocking that our hard-working NHS and social care staff could see much of their Covid ‘thank you’ payment snatched away – all due to this cruel Tory government’s insistence on taxing it.
“The Treasury could resolve this in an instant by making the bonus tax-free – but instead, the Tories want to take money out of the pockets of the vital workers who have kept our country going through this crisis.
“It’s clear that low-paid workers who are in receipt of benefits will be penalised if the Treasury continues to insist this payment is taxed and included in benefit calculations. That must not happen.
“The Tories must urgently commit to giving our NHS and social care staff every penny of Scotland’s thank you to them – rather than threatening to snatch as much of it as they can away in tax.”