NHS Pensions: Taxation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:21 pm on 8th July 2019.

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Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 4:21 pm, 8th July 2019

That is also why the Secretary of State is meeting representatives of the medical profession today. The hon. Lady asks whether the 50:50 scheme is enough and whether more can be done. Those are precisely the issues that the Health Secretary is discussing with those representatives of the medical profession. Of course he is working hand in hand with the Treasury to find NHS-specific solutions to deal with the problems that we all acknowledge, and which have been raised today by my hon. Friend Andrew Selous. We all acknowledge that.

The important thing to remember is that, while we need to look for NHS-specific solutions—which is precisely what the Health Secretary is working on—the broader issue of taxation cannot be looked at just for one profession. The broader issue of the pension system has to be looked at in the round and in the whole. I am not going to stand at the Dispatch Box today and announce an entirely new pensions policy. We are pragmatically dealing with the situation that has arisen in the NHS, and of course we continue to review our pensions system to ensure that it makes financial sense for those people contributing to it as well as for the Exchequer. We pay more than £50 billion-worth of pension tax relief and it is important that we get value for money for that—that is why the reforms were conducted earlier—but of course we continue to review the arrangements to ensure that they are providing value for money as well as the right incentives for people to save for their later age.