Leo Varadkar announced, towards the end of last month, that all frontline health and ambulance workers are eligible for the tax-free €1000 payment.
Student nurses and midwives are included in the cohort who are eligible for this payment, however on a pro-rata approach based on the length of their placement. Upwards of 2,000 students could be eligible for this payment in Dublin City University alone.
Minister for Public Expenditure, Michael McGrath said, “While no monetary amount could truly reflect the dedication of healthcare staff on the frontline, the government believes it is appropriate, at this time, that a once-off tax-free payment of €1,000 be provided for all eligible public service healthcare and ambulance workers, in recognition of their efforts.”
McGrath added that this payment and the public holiday will represent a “balanced and timely” recognition of the public’s efforts over the pandemic.
Táinaiste Varadkar added that the payment was to represent the work of healthcare workers in “dangerous and challenging conditions” and for the thousands of lives saved.
General Secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation said, “The decision by the Government to grant a €1,000 tax-free payment to nurses, midwives and student nurses is the right thing to do.”
Adding that the “small thank you” is welcomed by the organisation and recognised the work given by their members against Covid.
According to the INMO, 62% of their members had patients who died due to Covid which “far exceeds previous levels” of patient deaths that the organisation has dealt with before.
A “once-off” public holiday was also announced, it will take place on the 18th of March in recognition of the efforts from all citizens during the pandemic and those who passed away during the pandemic. An additional recurring public holiday will be on St.Brigid’s Day, 1st of Feburary, beginning in 2023.
The Táinaiste said, “We decided to make this decision now on a public holiday, rather than wait until the pandemic is over, because so many have already given so much.”
Adding that the date will “roughly” mark two years since the first case was detected in the Republic.
Image Credit: QCS