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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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LOCAL HEALTH SERVICES TAKE TORY TAX HIT

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Health services used by people in Banff & Buchan will be hit by a multi-million pound tax bill as the Tory Government’s VAT rise kicks in at the beginning of January. The VAT increase is opposed by Banff & Buchan SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford, and MSP Stewart Stevenson.

Added to the increase in National Insurance payments that the NHS is picking up the total cost to NHS Grampian is around £4 million.

Because the NHS employs a high number of people it is particularly exposed to the National Insurance changes.

In total the Scottish NHS will have to pay around 17 million pounds in extra National Insurance payments to the London Treasury this coming year and a further 26.5 million pounds increase in VAT payments. A total of over 43 million pounds being lost from frontline services directly to the London Treasury.

In the election the Tories claimed they would scrap Labour’s tax on jobs and immediately after the Tory government’s budget David Cameron told Moray SNP MP Angus Robertson that “our action on national insurance contributions has saved the NHS money”. However backtracking by the Tories have left the rise in place.

Commenting on the multi-million pound tax bill directly hitting local health service users SNP MSP for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson said:

“The Tory government is hitting NHS Grampian with a multi-million pound tax bill and the people who will suffer are the patients.

“This is a double tax bombshell for the NHS – a grotesque Christmas present where the NHS has to pay the UK Government back for the misleading pledges of the Westminster parties.

“Labour introduced the damaging changes to National Insurance, the Tories have left it in place and it is Scotland’s public services and our economy that will pay the price.

“The cost to NHS Grampian is equivalent to over 150 nurses salaries per year.”


Local MP Eilidh Whiteford added:

“The Prime Minister claimed he was saving the NHS money when in fact he is costing it millions.

“Whilst all the London parties have shown they can’t be trusted on tax it is the SNP which is the party that stands for Scotland's people and Scotland's interests. While Tory, Labour and Lib Dem planned to take taxes from Scotland’s NHS the SNP has worked hard to put more money into our health service to ensure it remains the first quality service we all want to see.

“Our public services across Banff & Buchan are being hit by massive tax bills in the coming year over and above the huge budget cuts coming from Tory-led government and people in the North-east are facing a double whammy on public services.”

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