Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds has today launched her party’s campaign to get Chancellor Rishi Sunak to agree not to tax the Covid ‘thank you’ payment for care workers.
The £500 payment, introduced by the Welsh Government over three months ago, has only just started to be paid. This is due to the UK Treasury insisting it be taxed, which led to months of delay.
Given the payment is being made without a tax exemption from the Treasury, many will see many receive a vastly reduced sum and carers on Universal Credit could lose out due to the way the benefit is calculated.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have been pushing for the Chancellor to scrap the tax on this payment since June. Today, they have launched an open letter campaign aimed at pressuring the Chancellor to do just that.
They are also calling for the Treasury to immediately refund the tax anyone receiving the payment has seen deducted from the £500 sum.
Announcing the campaign, Jane Dodds said:
“It’s shocking that our hard-working carers are seeing their Covid thank you payment whittled away - all due to this cruel Tory Government’s heartless inaction and insistence upon taxing the payment.
“Rishi Sunak could resolve this situation in an instant, by simply announcing that the payment won’t be taxed or included in Universal Credit calculations. The fact he hasn’t done so yet is an insult to carers across Wales.
“Today we’re launching an open letter, calling on Mr Sunak to make this announcement. Our carers have been waiting three months for this payment, now they are seeing the vast majority of it snatched away by the Conservatives in Westminster.
“If you agree with me that our carers have gone above and beyond during this pandemic, please go to www.welshlibdems.wales/open-letter and sign up to support our campaign.”
Ed Davey MP, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats, added:
“Our carers have been overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated for too long. The £500 thank you payment, announced by the Welsh Government in May, is to recognise and reward their dedication and service during this pandemic.
“We need to create a fairer and more caring country - and that starts right now by not taxing this payment and rewarding the selfless work carers across Wales have undertaken.”
The Welsh Liberal Democrats are urging people to support their campaign here: https://www.welshlibdems.wales/open-letter