The Member of the Senedd for the Rhondda has called for clarity and fairness over the coronavirus isolation payment in Wales.
Leanne Wood MS called on the Labour Government to communicate whether the £500 promised for anyone having to self-isolate due to coronavirus will be subject to tax and will impact upon Universal Credit – just like the carers’ bonus payment was. Leanne also questioned why the payment was only backdated to the last week of October when the payment was available in England a month earlier.
During questions to the Labour Government Trefnydd, Leanne said: “Can I have a statement about the new isolation payment of £500? I know the question was asked earlier on, but it was dismissed by the First Minister.
“I want to know whether a chunk of it will be clawed back by Westminster in the form of tax, national insurance and deductions for universal credit purposes, just as the £500 carers bonus was.
“We need information about this payment to be better communicated than the carers bonus situation was, because that has plunged many people into a very difficult situation, where they've spent the money that they received from the bonus, and then subsequently had the money taken from them in universal credit.
“I'd also like to know why this isolation payment was only backdated for one week to 23 October, despite being announced in September, when people in England have been able to access this payment since the end of September. So why are people losing out in Wales?”
In reply, Trefnydd Rebecca Evans MS said: “As colleagues will be aware from the statement that the First Minister made a few days ago on this particular issue, there are some final details that are being concluded.
“And I'll be sure that a statement or a letter is sent to all colleagues with the very latest, once those final details have been clarified, in order, as much as anything, that we can best advise our constituents as to how to go about accessing that payment, should they be eligible for it.”
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