Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been warned that ‘punitive’ pension taxation is the greatest threat to the medical workforce.
In a letter to Johnson, Dr Chaand Nagpaul (BMA) stated that without action doctors will have no choice but to reduce the amount of work they do for the NHS, or leave it entirely, to avoid unexpected tax bills. This is likely to cause GP waiting lists to increase even further whilst simultaneously forcing the remaining few GP’s to have to take on more work than ever more. During his campaign Johnson promised to fix the lifetime allowance issue and this was welcomed by the BMA at the time.
Without action the current policies in place could result in unexpected tax bills of up to six figures for GP’s. This would create unprecedented stress on top of the already 10,000 unfilled medical vacancies within the NHS. This problem is further intensified by the fact that the NHS is struggling so much with GP retention rates, so much so that £24m is now being spent to increase retention rates. This is in conjunction with their outreach program for as many new recruits as possible.
Re-negotiating the existing policy has the potential to drastically reduce GP workloads and appointment waiting times across the nation if carried out correctly. However the only proposed solution so far has been 50:50. This potential solution allows clinicians to reduce their pensions accrual by 50 per cent, as well as paying 50 per cent lower contributions. Its rate of success however is still undetermined as it varies largely dependent upon individual GP salary contributions.
What are your thoughts? Will you be welcoming the opportunity to pay 50% lower contributions – let us know in the comments or on twitter!