Labour has pledged to increase further insurance premium tax on health insurance, despite the fact that tax on the benefit has doubled in the last two years.
Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries chairman Stuart Scullion has attacked the move as likely to increase pressure on the National Health Service.
The manifesto pledges £30bn in extra spending for the NHS through an increase in income tax for high earners and a hike in IPT on PMI, as well as freeing up resources by halving the fees paid to management consultants. The money will also be used to pay for free parking in NHS England for patients, staff and visitors.
Scullion says: “PMI is not some executive perk for the wealthy. It is purchased by almost four million working and middle class people who want to take a responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. Increasing IPT will simply force those who are willing and able to buy PMI back into an already overstretched NHS.
“There are just under one million consumer purchasers of PMI, including many older citizens, who are going to be forced back into using NHS services if the cost of their PMI becomes unsustainable. How does that benefit the NHS? I would be keen to see how the Labour Party has costed its plans whereby they can be confident of a net benefit to the NHS and its users through the removal of hospital parking charges.
“A more creative approach would be to look at how the capability of the private sector could be harnessed to reduce the strain on the NHS, operationally, financially and by reducing waiting lists.
“Healthcare spend should be tax exempt as it is across much of Europe.”