Cover Transport Costs for Key Workers and Funeral Costs If they Die of Covid-19, Says Leanne

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The Rhondda AM has called on the Labour Government to provide free transport for all key workers and pay for funeral costs if they die of corona virus.

Speaking during an online plenary session, Leanne Wood AM said the policies for key workers were the “least they deserve.”

Ms Wood wrote to the Transport Minister earlier this week calling for the transport policy currently enjoyed by NHS workers to be extended to cover all key workers. Then, during questions to the First Minister during an online plenary session, she called on him to cover funeral costs for key workers if they die as a result of Covid-19.

In her letter to the Transport Minister, Leanne wrote: ‘I applaud the decision to give free public transport to NHS workers. It was a just and compassionate move and I understand that there are plans to extend it to care workers too. Given there are many other key workers keeping our country running, I am of the view that free transport should be extended to all key workers during this emergency situation. They, like NHS workers, have to travel to work to perform roles deemed essential.’

Then, in First Minister’s questions, Leanne pushed the case for funeral costs to be met by the Welsh Government for key workers killed by Covid-19. She said: “As you are aware, funerals can cost in excess of £5,000. These people have died carrying out a public duty. I think it's the least that they deserve.”

Afterwards Leanne said: “NHS staff are justifiably getting widespread praise & gratitude for their incredible bravery and hard work during this public health emergency. I believe that all key workers deserve be recognised by the state for their selflessness during these dangerous times.

“Whilst many of us are in lockdown and observing the advice to stay in, many key workers do not have that choice and have to leave the safety of their homes every day for the good of society.

“If key workers die from Covid-19 during their service to the rest of us, the government should cover the cost of their funerals.

“Funerals are expensive and this would be a small token of appreciation to those families who are bereaved. As I said to the First Minister in the online Senedd, it is the least we can do for them.”

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