- NewsThe Telegraph
Nicola Sturgeon is under pressure to top up a £500 "thank you" bonus for NHS and social care workers after her challenge to Boris Johnson not to tax the money backfired spectacularly. One of Scotland's most eminent economic think tanks said the best way for workers to receive the entire sum would be for the Scottish Government to pay a higher "gross" amount, which would reduce to £500 on payment of income tax. The Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI), based at Strathclyde University, said there would be no additional cost to the Scottish Government as it controls income tax on earnings north of the Border, so the additional money would be paid back to them. In her SNP conference speech on Monday, Ms Sturgeon challenged Mr Johnson to create a special tax exemption for the payment, saying the Covid "heroes" deserve to pocket "every penny". After the Treasury pointed out SNP ministers had the power to "gross up the payment", Ian Blackford, the SNP's Westminster leader, accused the Prime Minister of trying to "punish" NHS and care workers. But the FAI said the SNP's exemption demand "opens the possibility of endless future lobbying for tax-exempt bonuses" and "would gift higher rate taxpayers a significantly larger tax break than basic rate taxpayers." In a damning intervention, they said there was a "healthy dose of politics" in Ms Sturgeon's challenge to the Prime Minister and what the Scottish Government "really wanted" was an example of the devolved tax powers "apparently not working."
- SportThe Telegraph
Ireland v Scotland, Autumn Nations Cup final round: What time is kick-off, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?
What is it? The Autumn Nations Cup third-place play-off as Ireland host Scotland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. When is it? Saturday, December 5. What time is kick-off? 2.15pm. What TV channel is it on? Amazon Prime. What is the latest team news? Ireland Billy Burns and James Lowe have been ruled out of the Scotland match through injury. Fly-half Burns has not recovered from the groin issue which cut short his try-scoring full international debut against Georgia on Sunday. New Zealand-born winger Lowe missed the 23-10 victory over the Lelos and will be absent again this weekend, also due to a groin problem. Captain Johnny Sexton and centre Robbie Henshaw should be in contention to play having returned to training following their respective hamstring and groin injuries. Flanker Will Connors will continue to be monitored after being forced off for a head injury assessment last weekend. Winger Keith Earls (back), scrum-half Conor Murray (dead leg) and hooker Rob Herring (rib) should be available to Farrell. Prop Ed Byrne will remain out due to an ongoing calf issue, while uncapped duo Harry Byrne and Eric O'Sullivan are training with the squad this week. Scotland TBC What are the complete final-round fixtures?
- PoliticsThe Independent
Outgoing president will not even invite successor to White House
- HealthThe Independent
I developed chills and a mild fever, and I was elated. This was it! But then reports about the data led me on an emotional rollercoaster. As I prepare to get my second dose, I’m reflecting on how far we’ve come
Health Secretary Matt Hancock fought back tears as he revealed his step-grandfather caught Covid-19 in Liverpool and died on November 18. The Health Secretary told MPs of the death within his family as he concluded the six-hour debate on the new tier restrictions to be implemented in England from Wednesday to replace the national lockdown. He told the Commons: "In my family, as in so many others, we've lost a loving husband, a father, a grandfather to this awful disease". The Health Secretary added "from the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you to everyone in Liverpool for getting this awful virus under control". "It's down by four-fifths in Liverpool", he continued, "that's what we can do if we work together in a spirit of common humanity. We've got to beat this, we've got to beat it together." .
The pardons could benefit Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, as well as son-in-law Jared Kushner.
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