Public services union UNISON Cymru Wales has today (Thursday), written to the Prime Minister, asking him to do the right thing for Welsh care workers by allowing them to keep a pandemic bonus in full.
The UK government has refused to waive tax and National Insurance deductions from the £500 bonus the Welsh government wants to grant all care workers.
UNISON says any tax paid on the £500 will count against Universal Credit benefits the majority of care workers receive because their pay is so low and could reduce the bonus to as little as £125.
Welsh government announced the bonus to acknowledge the commitment of low-paid care workers throughout the Covid-19 lockdown. Despite the First Minister’s lobbying, the Westminster government has refused to budge and now the union has decided to contact the Prime Minister directly with its analysis of how the £500 is affected.
UNISON Cymru Wales regional secretary Tanya Palmer said:
“The Covid lockdown has shone a light on the tremendous work undertaken by thousands of mainly low-paid, female care workers in Wales. They continued to care for our loved ones under difficult and frightening circumstances.
“The Prime Minister clapped for care workers but they will feel cheated by Boris Johnson if tax and Universal Credit deductions leave them with as little as £125.
“This bonus was meant for hard-pressed care workers and their families, not to disappear into the Treasury’s coffers. UNISON has called on the Prime Minister to think again.”