Nippy Nicola suggests Boris should pay tax on compensation for bullied workers.
By Bill Heaney
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP government made a burach of awarding frontline workers that £500 thank you.
It appears they have done it again with compensation payments for healthcare workers who were bullied by their bosses in Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership.
The government took no steps to ensure that these payments were not subject to tax.
Tory MSP Edward Mountain told parliament: “I am sure that the First Minister will welcome, as I do, the compensation payments funded by the Scottish Government that are being made to those who suffered bullying in NHS Highland.
“I support that process. Unfortunately, those payments are being administered through payroll, which means that many victims—current and past employees—are being put into higher tax brackets and that those who have lost their jobs are now losing their benefits.”
He added: “The Scottish Government can make compensation payments without attracting income tax and national insurance.
“Does the First Minister agree that unnecessarily using the payroll system compounds the pain and suffering of, and shows no compassion to, those who have been bullied? Will she resolve the issue as a matter of urgency?”
Ms Sturgeon told him: “I am very happy to look at whether we could make the payments in a different way that would avoid tax implications. However, there is perhaps an easier way for the issue to be dealt with.
“The UK Government, which is responsible for deciding what income is subject to tax and is in charge of the majority of our benefits system, could decide to exempt such payments from tax.
“While it was at it, it could exempt the £500 bonus for national health service and social care workers as well.”