COALITION VAT BILL COULD COST NHS £23 MILLION

NHS Scotland could be hit by 20% VAT increaseA Parliamentary Question (PQ) released today has revealed the damaging consequences Tory-Liberal coalition plans to increase VAT to 20% would have on the NHS in Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon’s answer to former GP Ian McKee MSP reveals that the UK coalition could place a burden of £26 million on the NHS in Scotland through increased VAT payments with over £23 million directly affecting Health Boards.

Lothians SNP MSP Dr Ian McKee said:

“£23 million is huge chunk of Health Board budgets and this is the last thing the NHS needs.

“With resources getting tighter in coming years, increasing taxes paid by the NHS and other public bodies to the Treasury seems ridiculous.

“It may be slightly less than the £36 million Labour planned to take from the NHS in National Insurance, but it is still an unacceptable cost at a difficult time. There is simply no sense in taking money from public services to put back into the Treasury’s coffers.

“Increasing VAT will put a strain on our public services at a time when they need support more than ever.

“The SNP Government will do everything in our power to protect frontline public services and NHS jobs and I challenge the new coalition’s Holyrood colleagues and the Labour opposition to join with the SNP in opposing what would be a drastic attack on NHS spending at a crucial time.”

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