Will tax ‘cure’ stop doctors cutting hours?

Doctors with a private practice have welcomed the Government’s response following strong pressure from medical bodies to come up with a cure for the pension tax problem.

Mr Richard Packard, chairman of the Federation of Independent Practitioner Organisations (FIPO), said: ‘As far as the independent sector is concerned, these measures should make consultants less worried about their tax status relative to their pension cap, allowing them to take on work to complement their NHS activity.’

The options (see ‘Pension pain continues’), aimed at enabling senior medical staff to minimise the effect of the complex pension changes brought in by former Chancellor George Osborne, are currently out for consultation. 

But FIPO said it remained to be seen if the measures would be sufficiently practical to allow consultants to return to their previous hours. 

Mr Packard said: ‘This current problem for the NHS is a prime example of the law of unintended consequences and a misunder­standing of the levels of professionalism and commitment that have allowed the NHS to provide the service that it does.’ 

Dr Mark Vanderpump

Private doctors organisation the London Consultants Association was pleased to see that the Govern­ment’s latest consultation last month had reacted to doctors’ criticism of earlier plans.

Chairman Dr Mark Vanderpump told Independent Practitioner Today that the association hoped the Govern­ment’s formal response to the consultation would address the ‘tax, facility and ability to practise implication’ concerns raised by many of his members and FIPO.