Today the Liberal Democrats have launched calls for the Government to support their 'Frontline Support Package', a five-point plan to give frontline workers the support they need and the recognition they deserve as they get us through this appalling coronavirus crisis.
The package includes measures to scale up the procurement of PPE as well as a frontline service reward. This would recognise the risks our frontline workers are taking throughout this crisis, just as the Operational Allowance does for Armed Forces personnel deployed to dangerous areas.
Following the announcement, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:
"The fight against coronavirus is seeing several million key workers risking their lives to protect others. NHS and care staff are truly on the frontline in this national struggle – putting themselves in danger and working long shifts.
"In our hospitals, care homes, hospices and in the wider health and care sector, an army of workers are protecting us. Liberal Democrats believe the Government must support these coronavirus heroes properly.
"The top priority for frontline staff is protection. We should never ask our military to risk their lives without the proper kit, and we shouldn’t be leaving health and care workers without sufficient protective kit either. It is simply unacceptable that so many key workers do not have the equipment they need to protect them from coronavirus in the line of duty. The Government must do far more.
"When the country emerges from this crisis, we must also properly recognise those who were willing to serve and make a sacrifice, just as we do with military forces. The Government must look at creating a frontline service reward, similar to the deployment allowance frontline troops receive. There are many low paid workers on the coronavirus frontline, and we must show our gratitude.
"Quietly, key workers on the frontline every day undertake acts of bravery both big and small, to save lives. Liberal Democrats are campaigning so they get the protection and support now – and get the recognition and thanks they deserve when the epidemic has passed."