Daily Mail - 07.08.2019

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Page  QQQ Daily Mail, Wednesday, August 7, 2019

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By Sophie Borland
and Eleanor Hayward

hospital wards severely under-
staffed and resulting in longer
waiting times for patients,
including for cancer scans.
The Treasury’s review is part
of a major shake-up of doc-
tors’ pension schemes
announced by the Govern-
ment today. This includes
reforms from the Department
of Health which would give
doctors far more flexibility on
the amount they pay into their
pension pots each year.
Currently, doctors have to
put 14 per cent of their sala-
ries into their pensions annu-
ally. But the new system will
enable them to pay in a much
smaller amount and avoid the
tax charges, taking the money
as their salary instead.
Health Secretary Matt Han-
cock said: ‘NHS doctors do
extraordinary, life-saving work

the review will primarily focus
on the impact on doctors and
other public sector employ-
ees. But if they were to over-
haul the system completely,
then all high-earning workers
would be affected, including
those in the private sector.
Only two weeks ago, Mr
Hancock launched a consulta-
tion into doctors’ pensions
which proposed allowing them
to halve the amount they paid
into their pots.
But this was heavily criti-
cised by the British Medical
Association (BMA) and other
health bodies which warned
that this alone would not help
doctors avoid the charges.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, from
the BMA’s council, said: ‘After
a year’s tireless lobbying by
the BMA on the damaging
and perverse effect that this
legislation is having on our
NHS, its doctors and patients,
it is good to see the Govern-
ment finally... taking notice.
The BMA will be glad to work
with the Chancellor and the
Health Secretary to guarantee
changes that will solve the
problem for all doctors.’

every day and they should not
have to worry about the tax
impacts if they choose to go
the extra mile by taking on
additional work to help
patients. These comprehen-
sive proposals will give doc-
tors the pension flexibilities
they have called for and need
to make sure they are
rewarded for extra work.’
The pension taxes – known
as the annual allowance taper

  • were introduced by former
    chancellor George Osborne in
    April 2016.
    The rules are extremely com-
    plicated but, in short, anyone
    earning more than £110,000 a
    year will be hit with a tax bill
    depending on how much they
    put into their pension. The
    higher their salary and the
    more they pay into their pen-
    sion, the heftier the tax bill.
    The Treasury stressed that

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Pension tax rules

review to stop

doctors quitting

ANAESTHETIST Tom Dolphin has seen doz-
ens of operations cancelled because of
the mounting pensions crisis.
The consultant, 40, who works at a hos-
pital in west London, is one of thousands
of doctors to have cut back on their
hours. He has reduced the number of
days he works by about three a month.
Mr Dolphin, who earns about £85,000 a
year, said: ‘As doctors, we want to help
our patients but we are being financially
penalised for doing so.
‘Doing one extra shift can get you a
£5,000 tax bill. The NHS system relies on
doctors working overtime.
‘The issue has come to a head in the
past couple of months and it will only get
worse over winter. We’re starting to see
patients having their operations can-
celled and postponed.’

‘Patients having

ops cancelled’

From the Mail, July 9 August 1

MINISTERS are launching a
review into controversial
pension rules for high earners
which are propelling
thousands of doctors into
early retirement.
They will examine the annual
allowance tax charges which were
introduced three years ago and
affect anyone on salaries of more
than £110,000 a year.
The Treasury has decided to review
the pension rules following warnings
they were penalising GPs and hospi-
tal consultants and encouraging them
to cut back on their shifts.
Growing numbers of doctors in their
50s are choosing to retire altogether
as their take-home pay has been so
substantially reduced by the charges.
And many younger colleagues are
cutting down on their shifts with the
aim of reducing their salaries and
thereby avoiding the tax penalties.
This is leaving GP surgeries and

to cut

40% of GPs

retire or cut

hours over

pension row

Waiting lists

soar as doctors

cut hours in

pensions crisis

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