Op Ed: Why we need a Coronavirus Compensation Scheme

Originally on Lib Dem Voice

Last week, I launched a petition calling on the Government to implement a Coronavirus Compensation scheme, to protect the families of all frontline workers should the worst occur. I need your help to make it happen.

During this crisis, the message to all of us has been repeated over and over: where possible, stay at home. But it isn’t possible for everyone.

The NHS, for instance, isn’t a faceless organisation. It is made up of many members of our community, our neighbours and our friends. In times of crisis, our society relies even more heavily on essential workers, such as doctors, carers, food suppliers and teachers, to name but a few.

All of these essential workers are now putting their lives at risk to protect others. And, similar to those in our armed forces, they should know that if the worst happens the state will help their loved ones.

I believe a scheme similar to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme should be put in place to protect the families of frontline workers, should the worst happen. In addition to pension benefits, it would include:

A lump sum upfront
A guaranteed income for their family
Child payments to eligible children under 18

At the time of writing, over 2600 people have backed the petition, calling for the safety net our front line staff and their families deserve. Yesterday, 50 cross-party MPs added their support, in a letter calling on the Prime Minister to introduce the Scheme.

I believe we should reach out and spread the message that we need to support our heroes on the front lines of this crisis. No money could ever compensate for any loss of life, but this scheme would provide security and comfort for those risking themselves at this time of crisis.

As Lib Dems, our sense of community and our shared values are our strength. I know our sense of gratitude to the frontline workers is limitless. So please help us show it, by adding your name to the petition for this compassionate Compensation Scheme today.

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