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NHS Pensions Tax: “We simply cannot wait until the next tax year for a solution”

The Royal College of Surgeons is urging the Prime Minister to resolve the NHS pensions ‘tax trap’ after a poll reveals that 69% of consultant surgeons have reduced their hours.

Here’s the reaction…

Dr David Shipstone, BMA consultants committee surgical lead, said:

“How many more doctors will need to say, ‘We cannot afford to take on extra work, we cannot cover emergency lists and we are being forced to allow our patients to suffer,’ before this Government brings in fundamental reform to pension tax rules?

“This survey shows the potentially disastrous impact of these perverse rules on patients, who will wait even longer for often life-changing surgery, especially as we head into winter when services are already stretched to breaking point. The issue also goes wider as we will begin to see a loss of training and mentoring for our surgeons and physicians of the future.

“But while the situation is absurd, it is one of the Government’s making, and is entirely avoidable. Ministers must scrap the damaging annual and tapered annual allowance now so that experienced doctors – including surgeons, other consultants and GPs – can continue to provide the best possible care to their patients without ending up financially worse off.”

Royal College of Physicians President Professor Andrew Goddard said:

“These findings further demonstrate the need to urgently reform the pensions system in this current tax year in order to prevent additional pressure on the NHS.

“We recently asked our members about their plans for retirement and almost half (45%) of them have decided to retire at a younger age than previously planned, mostly (86%) due to pension concerns.

“We simply cannot wait until the next tax year for a solution, every week the issue remains more hard-working doctors will reduce their hours, driving up waiting times for patients and driving down staff morale.

“It is now vitally important that clinicians are engaged with and supportive of any proposed solutions, so we will be responding to the consultation in due course.”

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