THE TORY Government is being urged to change course after new figures revealed they could claw back more than 90 per cent of the £500 “thank you” payment given to Scotland’s health and care workers.

The Scottish Government announced in November that they would give the bonus to NHS and social care workers following their efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It later emerged that the UK Government would cut benefits of workers receiving the cash.

READ MORE: DWP: Tories to reduce benefits of NHS staff who accept Scottish £500 payment

Now, research from the House of Commons Library reveals that workers claiming tax credits and housing benefit could see up to 90.9% of the payment taken back by the Tories.

This means that care home workers, NHS porters, healthcare support workers, nurses and paramedics could be left with less than £50.

Neil Gray (below), the SNP’s shadow work and pensions secretary, has again urged the Government to allow workers to keep the cash in full.

The MP said: "Boris Johnson must U-turn on Tory plans to cut benefits for NHS and social care workers receiving the Scottish Government's £500 'thank you' payment.”

He described the Government’s refusal to make the payments exempt as “cruel and unacceptable”.

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Gray, the MP for Airdrie and Shotts, went on: “This payment helps recognise the extraordinary role frontline workers have played tackling coronavirus throughout this crisis, and it should be received in full without any deductions from Westminster.

"Instead of taking money away from NHS and care workers, the Tories should follow Scotland's lead and ensure workers across the UK get the recognition they deserve - especially given the impact of coronavirus over the winter.”

The UK Government decision comes after it was confirmed there will be a partial public sector pay freeze.

Nearly three million public sector workers will see their pay frozen. The Resolution Foundation has warned these staff are already earning 7.9% less than their private sector counterparts.

"It beggars belief that after a decade of Tory austerity cuts, which have pushed millions of people into poverty, the Tory Government is planning further cuts - including a public sector pay freeze, which will leave so many frontline workers poorer and worse off,” Gray added.

READ MORE: £500 payment: Tories unbelievably tell Scots to thank THEM for SNP policy

"Scotland shouldn't have to wait for Westminster to act. It is clearer than ever that the only way to protect Scotland's interests and build the fair and equal society we all want to see is to become an independent country - with the full powers to make our own decisions."

Last month Scotland’s leading trade union called on the First Minister to extend the £500 payment to all key public sector workers.

Unite Scotland’s Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said they had been “inundated from our members in local government, the third sector and also those working within NHS services who are set to miss out on the £500 payment”.