For those that are waking to read headlines where you could actually get paid for getting Coronavirus, you are not still dreaming!
Yes, it is true. The latest crazy scheme that could be on its way to you, courtesy of the UK Government is that they are considering paying £500 to anyone who tests positive for COVIS-19. For the first time in history, you could receive money for joining in on a global pandemic!
If you think it is all fantasy, this story is headline news in the Daily Mail today, as well as many other tabloid newspapers.
The basic idea is that many workers who are displaying symptoms, are not getting tested for COVID because they would not be allowed to go to work. Therefore, people are avoiding being tested and so the virus is being spread.
The Government think that by offering £500 they will get people to go for testing. In a way, you could call it sick pay!
Financial help for those who test positive – the Test and Trace Support Payment – is limited to low earners who cannot work from home and already receive benefits. The £500 payment for English residents would apply irrespective of age, employment status or ability to work from home.
The staggering plan could cost up to £500 million per week, which is quite a lot when the country is already facing its biggest deficit since WW2.
The danger with this plan is that how many people who are struggling financially will take a punt on getting a mild dose of COVID in order to get the cash? Students in their twenties, who think they will just get a bad cold will be delighted to get £500 to go towards their mounting debt.
Anyone who has lost their job recently or works in a business that has been closed due to lockdown might decide to take their chances as 500 quid may get them through the month or help with the mortgage or rent payments.
When we surveyed some people about the Governments new plan, the first reaction we received was “Are you joking?”.
The second response we got was “So it will encourage people to test positive if they will receive a handout?”
Third response was “Is it April fools day?”
There is still a lot of work to be done on the plan and the Government do still have some alternative options up their sleeve. One is that the £500 will only apply to those earning under £26,500 and another option is only to pay to those who do not receive sick pay or are unable to work remotely.
Of course, we do not suggest that anyone should get Coronavirus as the outcome could be very bad indeed, but there will always be those who find a way to manipulate the system in their favour or some that will just take the risk regardless of any dangers to their long term health.