NHS trusts are facing a new challenge in their cash strapped struggle to provide a high standard service. Now hospitals are faced with a sharp rise of 21% (£ 322 millions) in business rates on their property. As an example, the Queen Elizabeth, Birmingham will face a tax bill rise from £2.8m per year to£6.9m unless MPs and ourselves can persuade the Government to relent. One solution would be to allow NHS properties to claim charity status reductions of 80% as some private hospitals eg the Nuffield Trust already do but so far that sensible suggestion has been rejected by Jeremy Hunt.
We contend that, far from imposing yet another financial burden on the NHS, the Government should be doing all it can to save health costs from rising by reducing property tax payments rather than increasing them so dramatically. Tax payers tell us that they are more than happy to contribute a little more for the NHS for improved medical care but not to see it returned to the Treasury in tax.
Please email your local MPs to urge them to ask Jeremy Hunt to reverse this increase and to bring NHS hospitals in line with private sector by allowing them to claim the 80% charitable status reduction (without becoming charities, of course).
Norman Lamb MP, Liberal Democrat health spokesman , has a petition on his website which you can also sign supporting a 1p in the £ tax increase ring-fenced for the NHS. Together we can take this positive action to help our wonderful NHS.