Coronavirus: Pay front line COVID-19 workers military-style bonus, say Lib Dems

NHS and care staff battling the pandemic should receive a military-style active duty bonus in recognition of their service, according to the Liberal Democrats.

The party is calling for the key workers fighting COVID-19 to receive a £29-a-day “front line service reward”, similar to the deployment allowance paid to troops.

Pressing for the payment, acting Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said NHS and care staff were “risking their lives to protect others” in what was a “national struggle” against the coronavirus.

The bonus forms part of a “front line support package” being called for by the Lib Dems, which also includes the fast track procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE).

It comes amid growing criticism of the government over shortages of specialist safety kit, which critics say is putting the lives of doctors and nurses at risk.

Sir Ed said: “The fight against coronavirus is seeing several million key workers risking their lives to protect others.

“NHS and care staff are truly on the front line in this national struggle – putting themselves in danger and working long shifts.

“In our hospitals, care homes, hospices and in the wider health and care sector, an army of workers are protecting us.”

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