UNISON victory over "NHS privatisation tax"

UNISON is claiming a victory over the NHS “privatisation tax”, after the Government withdrew damaging plans to allow private companies to be paid more than NHS hospitals for delivering the same services.

The plans would have allowed private companies to get a premium for delivering services to patients, as a way of expanding their share of the NHS.

Government documents suggested that this premium could have been as high as 14% more than the NHS gets. An amendment to the Government’s own Health & Social Care Bill will now end this move.

This latest u-turn comes hot on the heels of health secretary Andrew Lansley’s announcement yesterday, that price competition will no longer a part of the government’s wholesale plans to break up the NHS.

Karen Jennings, UNISON’s Head of Health, said:

“These plans amounted to little more than a privatisation tax, with the taxpayer’s pound being used to line the pockets of company shareholders, as they bid to unravel our NHS.

Since the Health and Social Care Bill appeared in January, UNISON had been demanding that this section is removed.

The government have finally seen sense on this issue, but now they must rid themselves of the rest of the market free-for-all set out in the Bill.”

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