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Government slammed for taxing Welsh care workers' Covid bonus

BORIS JOHNSON was slammed today for refusing to waive income tax charges on a £500 bonus paid by the Welsh government to frontline care workers fighting Covid-19.

Public-service union Unison Cymru condemned the PM's decision, which it says affects thousands of mainly female, low-paid care workers.

The Welsh government announced the bonus earlier this year “to acknowledge the commitment of low-paid care workers throughout the Covid-19 lockdown” and asked that tax should not apply.

After the request was refused in June, Unison Cymru wrote to the PM to appeal against the decision.

Tax paid on the £500 will count against universal credit the majority of care workers receive because their pay is so low and could reduce the bonus to as little as £125, the union said.

However the government declined a second time this week, with the Treasury stating: “The carer’s bonus payment to employees functions as a top-up to wages, and is thus taxable as earnings under normal rules. 

“This is consistent with the approach across different forms of financial support at this time.”

Unison Cymru regional secretary Karen Loughlin said: “The Prime Minister’s decision is disgraceful.

“This bonus was meant for hard-pressed care workers and their families, not to disappear into the Treasury’s coffers.

“Care workers have looked after our loved ones under difficult and frightening circumstances during the pandemic and they were applauded by Boris Johnson.

“This decision shows he’s not on the side of care workers or working people in Wales. 

“They have every right to feel bitter. The super-rich have become even wealthier during the lockdown but the people whose jobs are most socially valuable are forced to struggle on the breadline.”

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