Taoiseach Micheál Martin has indicated that healthcare workers will rewarded with a Covid bonus for their hard work and sacrifice during the pandemic.
The Taoiseach has said the Government is giving “active consideration” to an extra payment or additional leave for frontline workers in hospitals and other healthcare settings, the Irish Examiner reports.
Labour Party leader Alan Kelly said healthcare workers deserve “special recognition”. He added that a “lack of flexibility and indeed humility” has been shown to these staff as they have not yet received extra payment or additional leave.
He said he proposed a €1,000 pandemic payment for healthcare workers in April of last year.
Mr Kelly cited other countries where similar payments have been made.
In response, Mr Martin told the Dáil that the Government is “fully committed” to recognising the efforts of frontline workers, he also said Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath has been assessing the issue.
Meanwhile, Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald accused the Taoiseach of tabling a "sneaky" amendment to allow investment funds to bulk buy properties and rent them back as housing.
She criticised the “decision to grant another tax break to allow and to encourage these same funds to buy up homes and then lease them back to local councils, costing well above what it would cost the State to build homes”.
Ms McDonald added: “It's absolutely mind-boggling, and it shows complete contempt for our citizens who can't put a roof over their heads.”
She said developers are “filling their boots” while ordinary workers and families struggle.
Mr Martin said “proper balance and perspective” is needed in the debate.
He said he has “no interest” in any investment fund, and that his priority is to provide housing for people.