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NURSES slammed the awarding of an extra £10,000 of expenses to MPs who work from home during the Covid-19 epidemic today.
Grassroots group Nurses United UK suggested the cash should be spent on personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospital and social-care staff who are working without adequate gear.
Any of Westminster’s 650 MPs who steer clear of their office can spend the extra money on laptops and printers, staff, additional electricity, heating and phone bills.
In addition, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), which was founded in 2009 following a major scandal over MPs’ misuse of the expenses system, has relaxed rules on providing evidence for future claims.
The cash is in addition to an existing office costs allowance for MPs of £26,000 a year.
Nurses United UK pointed out that this extra £10,000 has been made available just a month after MPs voted through an inflating-busting 3.1 per cent pay rise for themselves.
The group added this was “all while NHS and social-care staff can’t get enough PPE to keep themselves and the nation safe.
“As nurses we wonder when [Health Secretary] Matt Hancock will start listening.”
On the subject of pay rises for nurses, Mr Hancock said on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show last week that “now is not the moment to enter into a pay negotiation.”
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) warned today that a lack of protective equipment for nurses was “fundamentally compromising” the care they can give patients — and their own safety.
Nurses are still being forced to share equipment, buy their own or reuse kit, general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Every single hospital, community pharmacy and ambulance trust has now had a PPE delivery.
“Yesterday we delivered over 30 million items of PPE to NHS Trusts in England, and over the last few weeks, over 600m items of PPE have been delivered, including masks, gowns, aprons and gloves.”
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