Bradford Council used £170,000 of government covid funds intended to support local businesses to pay for gift cards for thousands of employees. 6,858 staff received gift cards worth an average of £25 as a "thank you for working through the pandemic." Further payments were made to employees for "long service rewards" and "complementary" rewards.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, which published the findings, our media campaign manager Conor Holohan said:
"This misuse of covid funding will shock taxpayers in Bradford and beyond.
"While the private sector was pummelled by the pandemic and millions watched their livelihoods disappear, council staff were being given blanket bonuses.
"Local bosses must urgently explain why they felt these handouts were a necessary use of taxpayers' money."