Labor and unions are alarmed that a promised retention payment for aged care workers is now being taxed.
Labor and unions are alarmed that a promised retention payment for aged care workers is now being taxed. Obencem

Government called 'sneaky' over aged care bonus dumping

Labor and unions have accused the Morrison government of being "sneaky and stingy" for short-changing aged care workers at a time of dealing with a dangerous health crisis.

In March, the government wrote to aged care workers promising a retention payment of up to $800 'after tax' for two quarters.

But opposition spokeswoman for ageing and seniors Julie Collins says when the guidelines for the retention bonus were released on Friday the payment was switched to being 'before tax'.

"Aged care workers have been our nation's COVID-19 heroes and now the prime minister is swindling them out of money they have been promised," Ms Collins said in a statement on Saturday.

The promise was up to $800 after tax for direct care workers and $600 after tax for those who provide care in the home.

"This is sneaky and stingy" HSU national president Gerard Hayes said in a statement.

He said the government is "splashing cash" all over the place and recently discovered it had a spare $60 billion - in reference to its substantially revised JobKeeper scheme.

"To now claw back hundreds of dollars from the lowest paid, hardest working people in our society takes a special kind of cruelty," Mr Gerard said.

Originally published as Govt called 'sneaky' over aged care bonus


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