• News
    The Telegraph

    Nicola Sturgeon under pressure to top up £500 NHS 'thank you' bonus after PM tax demand backfires

    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."

  • Politics
    The Independent

    Trump to boycott Biden’s inauguration and won’t even invite him for White House visit - report

    Outgoing president will not even invite successor to White House

  • Health
    The Independent

    I was given the AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19. I had side effects. I’m overjoyed — and confused

    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

  • Politics
    HuffPost

    Trump Reportedly Considering Pardons For 3 Of His Children And Rudy Giuliani

    The pardons could benefit Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, as well as son-in-law Jared Kushner.

  • News
    ITN

    Matt Hancock fights back tears in Commons

    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." .

  • News
    PA Media: UK News

    Attack on teenager at railway station caught on CCTV

    A 16-year-old boy was sitting in the waiting room at York station when he was kicked in the face.

  • News
    The Independent

    Coronavirus: Regulator rejects Matt Hancock’s claim that UK got vaccine first because of Brexit

    German ambassador says vaccine approval is ‘not a national story’