Colin Beattie MSP has shown his delight that around 24451 staff members under NHS Lothian will be recognised for the hard work and sacrifice they have shown during the COVID-19 pandemic by receiving a bonus of £500 from the SNP Scottish Government.
The payment was announced this week at the SNP conference by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that all NHS staff would receive the bonus as a thank you, with part-time workers being given a proportionate amount.
The bonus was one of several policies announced at the SNP 2020 Conference to support hard-working families, including a promise to extend free school meals to all primary school pupils all year round and a £100m hardship fund to help those most in need during the pandemic.
Commenting, Colin Beattie said:
“NHS staff in Lothian have worked so hard to keep everyone safe during the pandemic and have put their lives on the line to treat those who have been unwell with Covid-19.
“I am delighted to see all their work and sacrifice is being rewarded by the Scottish Government with this £500 payment.
“I am pleased to see that we are going further than simply clapping on our doorsteps and giving them something substantive towards their hard work over the pandemic, though no thank you is great enough for all that they have done for our country this year.”
"PROGRESSIVE VISION TO TACKLE POVERTY IN THE FACE OF TORY CUTS"
SNP MSP Colin Beattie has welcomed the announcement that every primary school pupil in Midlothian and East Lothian will be eligible for free school meals, all year around, if the SNP is re-elected in May.
Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, set out this latest step in the drive to tackle child poverty and make Scotland the first nation in the UK to offer universal free primary school meals at the SNP annual conference this weekend.
The SNP previously extended eligibility for a free school lunch to all P1 to P3 pupils while P4 to P7 pupils are eligible based on a range of income and benefits criteria.
Now, in the face of predictions that Westminster cuts will drive child poverty rates even higher, the expansion - estimated to cost around £230 million per year in additional expenditure - will introduce a free year-round breakfast and lunch for all primary school pupils from August 2022.
SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“The Covid-19 pandemic has put real financial pressure on families, and it’s right that the Scottish Government ensured that children in Midlothian and East Lothian would continue to receive free school meals over the holidays.
“But we will not stop there. If the SNP is re-elected in May, every single primary school pupil in Midlothian and East Lothian will be eligible for free breakfast and lunch, all year round.
“And unlike the Tories, we didn’t have to be publicly shamed and condemned into choosing to feed hungry children – that is the basic duty of any government.
“This ambitious expansion of the free school meals scheme is the next step in our battle to stop the Tories forcing more and more kids into poverty, support families, and make Scotland the best place to grow up.
“That progressive vision, underpinned by human rights, equality and wellbeing, is exactly why people in Scotland continue to put their faith in the SNP.”