New business rates 19% higher for NHS hospitals, 9.6% higher for private hospitals

“People are saying local authorities shouldn’t have to develop local funding solutions to the meeting the rising costs of adult social care. This article reveals another challenging irony in the context of the devolution of financial responsibility. Local authorities are going to become increasingly dependent on business rates and yet by so doing they will potentially, as an unintended consequence, drive up the costs of healthcare in their localities.

In a world where we have been able to do so many technically brilliant things we must be capable of finding a better way forward than the chaos, which is beginning to embed itself at the heart of the way we pay for our services. There is a strong argument to suggest this policy, when allied to ongoing cuts to central Government funding for local authorities involves taking money out of the NHS to fill the gap left by Government cuts. This article tells us:

The government is under growing pressure to stop a sharp increase in business rates for hospitals that threatens to increase the strain on the NHS.

Changes to the business rates system mean that the 1,249 NHS hospitals liable for the property tax will see their bills increasing by £322m, or 21%, over the next five years from April.

However, a growing number of politicians are calling for the government to reconsider the tax hike for hospitals, including making them eligible for the same 80% discount that charities enjoy.

Some private healthcare providers, such as Nuffield Health, already enjoy an 80% discount because they are registered as charities. Furthermore, the business rates that the 581 private hospitals do pay will not increase as much as it will for hospitals.

The rateable value of private hospitals has increased by 9.6% in the last revaluation while NHS hospitals have seen a 19.8% rise, according to research by the property consultant CVS.

The cross-party group of politicians who have already expressed concern about the tax rise for hospitals include Steve McCabe, Labour MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, Royston Smith, Conservative MP for Southampton Itchen, and Annie Wells, Conservative and Unionist MSP for Glasgow.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/15/government-urged-stop-tax-hikes-nhs-hospitals-business-rates

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