Matt Hancock may claim that the flawed “taper tax” on pensions affecting senior NHS consultants has been “scrapped immediately” – but this is flatly contradicted by the statements of NHS England and well-informed reporters.

The tax remains firmly in place, but NHS bosses and the government have bodged together a temporary fix. According to NHS England boss Simon Stevens  “a substantive answer from Government to the tapered annual allowance issue now seems unlikely to take effect before the new tax year, from April 2020.”

The Health Service Journal sums up: “A temporary ‘solution’ to the pensions tax impact on the health service has been confirmed by NHS England and signed off by government. … This stop-gap solution comes amid huge concern about senior doctors turning down additional shifts, because of the threat of large tax bills on their pensions.”

However  the HSJ points out that it’s still not clear where the funding will come from to refund the tax payments that would initially be taken from consultants’ individual pension pots, and refunded on retirement.

The Guardian notes that it is being presented as an “operational decision” by NHS England, to avoid criticism that it breaches “purdah” restrictions on new policy, “but was signed off – and some believe instigated – by the Treasury, Cabinet Office and the Department of Health and Social Care.”

Dear Reader,

If you like our content please support our campaigning journalism to protect health care for all. 

Our goal is to inform people, hold our politicians to account and help to build change through evidence based ideas.

Everyone should have access to comprehensive healthcare, but our NHS needs support. You can help us to continue to counter bad policy, battle neglect of the NHS and correct dangerous mis-infomation.

Supporters of the NHS are crucial in sustaining our health service and with your help we will be able to engage more people in securing its future.

Please donate to help support our campaigning NHS research and  journalism.                              

DONATE

Write A Comment