The tale of two governments was evident in Nicola Sturgeon’s speech to SNP conference.

First we review UK Chancellor Richi Sunak’s “Spending Review” only last week and the reward given to public-sector workers for their effort on behalf of the country during the Covid crisis: a pay freeze. There was exemptions for those earning less than £24,000, who will be guaranteed a pay rise, with NHS doctors and nurses still expected to receive a pay increase in 2021.

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Contrast that to the announcement by Nicola Sturgeon MSP to her party conference, where she informed delegates that the pay negotiations currently ongoing with NHS Scotland will continue to go ahead, but in the meantime and in recognition of the huge effort of frontline workers in our NHS and care staff the Scottish Government is making a one-off £500 payment to each worker. But there was a caveat wrapped up in this announcements, a caveat to the UK Prime Minister not to tax this one-off payment to those dedicated workers. Over to you, Prime Minister!

Catriona C Clark