The 20 per cent increase in insurance premium tax should be withdrawn because it will actually cost the Treasury more than it will bring in, says the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries.
Speaking at its annual conference in Leicestershire on July 1, AMII general secretary Michael Payne slammed the increase in IPT from 5 to 6 per cent on medical insurance announced in last week’s Budget, arguing that the move will put the NHS under even greater pressures.
Payne said: “Although the Government has made a commitment to maintaining NHS front line services, BMA research this week has shown many NHS organisations are already facing potentially devastating cuts to jobs and services with long-lasting consequences for the NHS and patients.
“Every treatment made in the private sector helps relieve pressure on NHS resources. So an increase in IPT and the cost of medical insurance will result in some people being deterred from continuing with or taking out such insurance for when they need medical treatment and if that happens they will remain totally reliant on the NHS.
“Our conference today is discussing Working Together for a Healthier Nation and this IPT decision shows once again that Government departments cannot work together as this decision made by the Treasury has far reaching consequences for the Department of Health.”
Payne also raised AMII concerns that the Treasury has gone against the work of the Department of Business Innovation and Skills in encouraging employers to play a greater role in the health and well-being of their employees. This is highlighted by employers having to pay an even higher National Insurance, increasing to 13.8 per cent from next April, on benefits-in-kind which include medical insurance premiums paid on behalf of employees.
Payne said: “We hope the Chancellor reviews this particular tax rise before the Finance Bill is passed and withdraws the planned increase. It makes no sense to Britain’s economy, no sense to the NHS, and no sense in encouraging individuals to take greater responsibility for themselves and in this instance their medical treatment and wellbeing.”