Tony O’Brien: Our kite-flying politicians haven’t yet given health workers a red cent

Promises to reward health workers for services ‘over and above the call of duty’ inevitably triggered claims from other groups that had worked through the pandemic. But there is no practical or moral equivalence to what was endured by those who kept, and keep, the health service going

An extra public holiday for all – whatever its own merits – is no thank you for health workers. It is not specific to them, an awful lot of them will have to work it and the rest will experience higher pressures of work either side of it

Early in the pandemic, political leaders made noises about rewarding those in the health service for their extraordinary efforts to look after the rest of us. While many private sector workers received tax-exempt gift vouchers as an end of year thank you from their employers – valued at up to €500 per employee – health service workers employed by the state received not so much as a red cent.

Thus far there is no sign ...