Soldiers have not received €1,000 Covid-19 bonus payment, Dáil hears

Army personnel who were deployed to HSE testing and vaccination centres were due to recieve the payment

Soldiers have not received the €1,000 Covid-19 bonus payment, the Dáil has heard.

Independent TD Cathal Berry said the payment had been extended to members of the Defence Forces in recent months but that “not a single soldier, sailor or flight crew” has actually received the payment.

“Worse still, not only have they not received it, they haven’t even applied for it because no mechanism exists to apply,” Mr Berry said.

The Kildare South TD said he would be grateful if the issue could be looked into and raised with the relevant Minister.

Public healthcare workers who were on the frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic received a once-off €1,000 tax free payment.

All public healthcare staff who worked in a clinical setting, including hospital porters, cleaners and ambulance workers were entitled to the bonus.

Student nurses who did placements in hospitals and healthcare settings, as well as army personnel who were deployed to HSE testing and vaccination centres were also in line for the payment.

Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath said he would look into the matter further and that to date, almost 62,000 HSE staff had received the payment and 14,000 staff from section 38 organisations.

“When it comes to those who are not directly employed by the State, whether it be in the private nursing homes, in hospices and indeed the Defence Forces, who are employed by the State but not the HSE, the Department of Health is working with the parent employers to put a process in place for that payment to be made as quickly as possible,” Mr McGrath said.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times