£500 bonus to care workers in Wales will be taxed as Treasury discussions end

170720 Care homes staff

A £500 bonus payment to care workers in Wales will be taxed by the Treasury, First Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.

In May the First Minister announced a cash bonus to say thank you to care workers who had carried out their caring duties throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

This was later extended to include kitchen, cleaning and all other care home staff.

However, on Wednesday 3 June, ITV News revealed care workers would have to pay tax and National Insurance contributions on the payment.

Since then the Welsh Government has been in discussions with the UK Treasury to try and stop the payment being taxed.

But speaking at the Welsh Government's last daily coronavirus press conference, Mark Drakeford said: "I'm afraid it looks as though the Treasury intend to take that money away from care staff in Wales in a way that I think is deeply regrettable and eminently avoidable."

After conceding that discussions between the Welsh Government and the Treasury were over, Mr Drakeford said payments to care workers would begin in August.

Plaid Cymru have called the announcement a "late and cruel twist" for care workers.

Delyth Jewell MS said: “Our carers were first promised a £500 bonus on 1 May. Back then, the First Minister noted that our social care workers were an often ‘under-valued and overlooked’ workforce.

"In a move that is not only late, but cruel, we learn that this bonus is not due to be paid until next month, and worse, will be subject to tax. The under-valued and overlooked workforce must wait even longer for a seemingly ever decreasing pot."