UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Hunt for excuses... Oppose NHS private firm tax haven proposals

The NHS operates for the public good. Private firms operate for the good of their shareholders. It is entirely legitimate for the state to therefore not collect tax from itself on behalf of itself to then re-spend on the same public services. That would be bureaucracy gone mad. It is entirely legitimate in a fair society to demand those making a profit contribute back into society through taxation.

This is the very basis of how taxation ought to work. But as reported on UNISONActive yesterday, private health companies are lobbying Monitor, the NHS's economic regulator, to argue for tax exemptions on profits made by private firms operating NHS contracts.

These greedy fiddling companies are posing a bogus argument that this would ‘level up’ the playing field because NHS directly provided services are exempt from certain taxation such as VAT and corporation tax. This is quite possibly the most ridiculous posturing by the private sector in recent years.

To squeal that they are better at providing services and can even make a profit from them but to then claim that those same profits should exempt them from taxation means these companies no longer even have the decency to hide their corporate greed!

The final decision will rest with Tory Health Minister Jeremy Hunt, which should put fear into anyone who values the principles of the NHS. If Hunt concedes corporation or any other tax exemptions on NHS contracts then what next? Similar tax concessions in local government contracts or on former public transport operations like rail and buses? Anyone fancy tax exempting Richard Branson or Arriva? Maybe it is the game plan?

Or maybe Hunt is just too dim to see the likely challenges from taxation lawyers and the bandwagon that he will set to roll with those pitiful cries from those poor companies who still, sob sob, need to pay their share of tax?

Monitor need to know the views of the public are far more sensible then the bleating of private providers soclick here and with the help of 38 degrees send your message to the regulator - private firms back off and pay your taxes! https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/nhs-monitor-tax-consultation