Ludicrous that pandemic payment is still outstanding for tens of thousands of health workers says Smith

28 September 2022

Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith has today (Wednesday, 28th September) called on the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly to urgently intervene over the non-payment of the pandemic recognition payment due to tens of thousands of health workers.

Deputy Smith said:

“36 weeks after it was announced to much fanfare by the Government, the fact that tens of thousands of healthcare workers are still waiting to receive a pandemic recognition payment is absolutely ludicrous. I believe it speaks to an abject failure of leadership, and is utterly disrespectful to thousands of health workers. This payment was the very least that the government could do, but even this simple payment has turned a good news story into a bad one.

“The payment should have been an opportunity to show workers that the Government recognised their sacrifices throughout the pandemic and value the contribution of those on the frontline. Instead, they have been left high and dry. Each and every one of these workers made enormous personal sacrifices and risked their health and their lives to keep us safe. There is no doubt that they went beyond the call of duty so to be treated like this leaves a very sour taste in the mouth.

“I have now written to the Minister for Health to express my major concerns and I have called on him to now intervene directly to ensure that the payment of the bonus to our frontline workers happens without any further delay.”

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