Ritchie’s great idea about health care

In that case cash is needed. This is not the moment to suggest a detailed programme for raising that moeny, but one idea I put forward to the meeting I was at on health and tax justice yesterday was simple. We could charge VAT on private health care. If we did HMRC says we’d raise just over £2 billion in extra funding.

I call that a no brainer. It’s affordable by those who would pay. It’s an exemption that is not needed. It’s a tax that could redirect resources to meet need. Let’s start debate there.

Blimey. We’re going to increase demand for NHS services by making the private sector alternative more expensive.

And this is how we’re going to deal with a shortage of money for the NHS?

8 thoughts on “Ritchie’s great idea about health care”

  1. The minor additional detail is that we can’t charge VAT on healthcare – it’s against EU law (and most unlikely the other 27 would agree to change it). “Tax Research LLP” doesn’t seem to do much actual research…

  2. If we are talking ‘Justice’ as opposed to just taking money from people who spend it in a way the left disapprove of, then of course those people who have paid taxes towards the NHS but use private health instead would also get a refund of the money this saves the NHS.
    I suspect that may more than cancel out the £2 billion.

  3. “I call that a no brainer.”

    There are two ways of interpreting that!

    “If we did HMRC says we’d raise just over £2 billion in extra funding.”

    That doesn’t seem all that much: it’s about 2%, isn’t it? I suspect the NHS would roar through that in nothing flat.

  4. It’s affordable by those who would pay.

    Except, of course, for those at the margin between having to rely on the NHS and being rich enough to not have to.

    You know, those people who are willing to pay some of their own money to continue treatment when the NHS denies them. Those people, I guess, are just going to have to die. For the greater good of course.

  5. And of course, his starting premise is that the only, or most important, thing wrong with the NHS is that we don’t spend enough money on it.

    Clearly he was asleep all the way through the Blair years.

  6. Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of people in the UK who use private healthcare. It’s called dentistry, and the UK’s dental care system is the hidden shame of the NHS.

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