Daily uk news Nicola Sturgeon announces a £500 coronavirus 'thank you payment' for all NHS and social care staff as she hints she will bypass Boris Johnson if he tries to block a second Scottish independence referendum MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Nicola Sturgeon today announced a one-off £500 'thank you payment' for all full-time NHS workers and adult social care staff in Scotland.
Breaking News ! Nicola Sturgeon today announced a one-off £500 'thank you payment' for all full-time NHS workers and adult social care staff in Scotland in recognition of their 'extraordinary service' during the coronavirus crisis. Ms Sturgeon said people who have worked in hospitals and care homes deserve the 'no strings attached' money after facing the 'toughest of years'.The cash will come from the Scottish government's coffers but Ms Sturgeon has urged Boris Johnson to waive the tax which would normally be owed on such a payment. The announcement, made at the SNP's virtual winter conference, came as Ms Sturgeon hinted she will try to bypass Mr Johnson if he continues to block a second referendum on independence.The First Minister said she will seek the 'authority' of voters at next year's Holyrood elections for a re-run of the 2014 border poll as she claimed she needed 'no one else's' permission to hold a 'legal independence referendum'. She argued that if a majority of Scots want to split from the UK then 'we have a right' to do so. She said that 'inalienable right of self determination cannot, and will not, be subject to a Westminster veto'.The UK Government must give permission for an independence referendum to go ahead but Mr Johnson is adamant he will not allow one to take place. Ms Sturgeon this morning said she is not ruling out a legal challenge to 'test' the Government's right to decide on the matter and her comments this afternoon suggest she could try to simply ignore the Prime Minister if he stands in her way. Mr Johnson had earlier slapped down calls for a fresh independence referendum. The PM's Official Spokesman said: 'The people of Scotland had a vote on this and they voted very clearly to remain part of the UK.' Nicola Sturgeon told the SNP's virtual winter conference this afternoon that every NHS and adult social care worker will get a 'thank you payment' in recognition of their work during the coronavirus crisis Nicola Sturgeon (pictured today) insisted 'the sooner the better' on the timing of a new vote on splitting up the UK, saying Scotland needed the powers to 'rebuild' after coronavirus in the way its people wantedMs Sturgeon said this afternoon that the one-off payment for NHS staff will be paid in the current financial year. She said: 'Those who have worked in our hospitals and care homes - caring for the sick and dying, at the sharpest end of the Covid trauma - deserve recognition now.'So I can announce today that, on behalf of us all, the Scottish Government will give every full time NHS and adult social care worker £500 as a one-off thank you payment for their extraordinary service in this toughest of years.'Those who work part time will get a proportionate share. The money will be paid in this financial year and it will be separate from any negotiations about pay for the longer term. There are no strings attached.'Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish government will fund the move but she urged the UK Government not to collect tax on the payments. 'Because we don’t control the full tax and benefits system, we don’t have the power to make this payment tax free,' he said. 'But Prime Minister, you do. So I am asking you this: Please allow our health and care heroes to keep every penny of Scotland’s thank you to them. Do not take any of it away in tax.' The decision to make the payment to NHS and adult social care staff in Scotland will inevitably pile the pressure on Mr Johnson to roll out a similar scheme for workers in England. On the issue of Scottish independence, Ms Sturgeon laid down the gauntlet to Mr Johnson as she said it was for voters to decide whether there should be a second border poll. She said: ‘Next May we will ask you, the people of Scotland, to put your trust in us to continue that task of building a better country. RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next So what's so special about a Scotch egg? Sausage roll and..
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‘I will ask you to judge us on our record and endorse our plans for the future. And in that election, I will seek your authority - no-one else’s - for a legal independence referendum to be held in the early part of the new Parliament.‘And then, collectively, we can answer those fundamental questions I have posed today. Who is best placed to lead Scotland’s recovery and build a better future.‘Westminster governments we don’t vote for? Or independent Scottish Governments - of whatever party - chosen by us and with Scotland’s best interests at heart.’The SNP leader said that ‘far from being too wee, Scotland is the ideal size to succeed’ as she compared the country to Denmark and Norway.She said: ‘As an independent country, we can be decision-makers, partners, bridge-builders and we have a right, if a majority of us want it, to choose that future.‘That inalienable right of self determination cannot, and will not, be subject to a Westminster veto.‘We are seeing across the Atlantic, what happens to those who try to hold back the tide of democracy. They get swept away.’This morning she said she was 'confident' of prevailing on the issue, pointing to polls showing a surge in support for breaking up the union north of the border, with one survey showing record 58 per cent backing.The SNP leader declined to give a specific date, despite other senior colleagues saying a vote should happen within months of the Holyrood elections in May.'I want to see it in the early part of the next term of the Scottish Parliament, rather than the later part,' she told Sky News.Ms Sturgeon said it was 'really important' that Scotland can rebuild from coronavirus in the way that its people want, rather 'in the image of Boris Johnson and his band of Brexiteers'. Boris Johnson, pictured in Downing Street this morning, is adamant he will not allow a second independence referendum to take place 'We are still like other countries the world over in the midst of a global pandemic,' she insisted. 'My energies are focused on that.' Pressed again on the timing of a referendum, she added: 'I'm not ruling anything out, I'm not ruling anything in on that.'Ms Sturgeon refused to rule out launching a legal challenge should the UK Government continue to block a second border poll. She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'I have never ruled out having a situation where this question, which has never been determined in courts - of does the Scottish Parliament have the power to have a referendum regardless of what Westminster says, or not? That's never been tested. I have never ruled that out.'But I don't think that should be the preference. Me and Boris Johnson can argue the toss over whether Scotland should be independent or not - it's entirely legitimate for him to argue against it.'What's not, in my view, legitimate or acceptable is for him to say that's not for the Scottish people to decide and he can somehow stand in the way of democracy.'
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