Stuart Scullion: Why the PMI industry must unite and fight these tax increases

Stuart Scullion, PHPThe latest tax assault on PMI may be part of a Treasury plan to equalise IPT and VAT – the industry must unite to fight it says AMII chairman Stuart Scullion

The Chancellor’s announcement that insurance premium tax (IPT) will rise to 12 per cent from June 2017 marks the third increase in just 15 months.

As an industry we know these increases in IPT will push consumers away from the private healthcare sector and simply add further strain on the national health service (NHS).

I believe, in making this decision, the Government is thinking purely of generating revenue in one area and not considering the wider implications, particularly for the NHS and health sector.

The suggestion by the Chancellor that IPT is a taxation on the Insurer not the Insured consumer is naïve at best.

Throughout much of the European Union health insurance is exempt from insurance premium tax.

I have already met with Craig Tracey, MP, Chairman of the All Parties Committee Financial Services & Insurance, earlier this year and expressed my concerns about the two previous increases in IPT.

I will be writing to him following this latest announcement to ensure our concerns are forwarded to the Chancellor directly. In addition, we are looking to set up an Intermediary roundtable chaired by Craig to discuss this further.

In the meantime, I urge everyone in our industry to come together. I do think we are an easy target and we need to work in partnership and start lobbying now.

My fear is the Treasury has an agenda to equalise IPT at the same level as VAT as soon as possible without giving due consideration to the wider implications for the healthcare sector as a whole.