The tax avoidance scandal that shook up Whitehall is soon to spread to the NHS. As reported earlier following the exposure of Ed Lester, the former head of the Students Loan Company, for channelling his salary through a personal service company to avoid paying national insurance and tax at source. The practice was still going on in Whitehall two years after the event and 125 civil servants who quit have been reported to Revenue and Customs.
Now the NHS is to face the same scrutiny. Reports in Exaro News and Tribune last week highlighted the issue – with the findings now likely to be sooner rather than later.
An inquiry has been ordered by Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, after Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury requested it.
Some two years ago a lesser inquiry – just into board members of NHS bodies – revealed some 28 out of 84 people were on this bandwagon. Earlier examples included Robert Clarke, finance director at NHS Professionals, which supplies temporary workers to the health service, was paid at least £534,000 over three years through a personal-service company.
Another former chief executive of NHS Professionals, Neil Lloyd, was paid £631,000 off payroll over three years.
This time the Health Department sounds uncompromising. A spokesman said:
“Tax avoidance will not be tolerated, and there is no excuse for it in the NHS, or any other part of the public sector.”
The Trust Development Authority, which provides guidance on governance to NHS trusts, is working with Monitor, which regulates the running of health bodies, to carry out the investigation to ensure that the use of off-payroll contracts is in line with guidance.
targeted is anybody earning over £58,200 a year or has been in post for more than six months and being paid through a personal service company.
In my view it cannot come soon enough. Tax avoidance deprives the Treasury of cash that could be used for better public services. Tax avoidance in the cash strapped NHS is actually depriving hospitals and communities of vital cash. All these people also earn a fair whack. They are not those forced to take a one per cent pay rise and see their living standards go down. On the contrary through tax avoidance they get richer on the backs of others.
Should also read is your director of children’s services also. Sheila Locke of Norfolk County Council is a company too.
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will need to check your last point out.
Ah the Tories going back on what they told their faithfull to escape taxes like us mortals but tonight on BBC the mouthpiece of the Tories they will show how fraud in the NHS is taking another source of revenue away from it. But isn’t it them and their mates who are the cause of it. Tories have cut billions from the NHS budget then used private companies to run NHS services like Serco,Capita ,Atos, Virgin. How devious are they.waiting just for that moment they tell you they sell the NHS to the Yanks. You bet it’s coming, watch another hatchet job on NHS tonight BBC1 Panorama.
this is an absolute disgrace and Im paying 25% bedroom tax ….these people have no shame neither have any of the Tories
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Interesting piece, and the results of such an enquiry will no-doubt be of great interest to members of the public campaigning desperately to save local services.
But, on the flipside, I can also see this enquiry for what it really is — another hack-job report from the Tories, bashing the NHS. Local-government Tories will no-doubt be salivating in anticipation of more dirt to be used for the purpose of encouraging their constituents to accept privatisation measures. After all, what good is the NHS in the hands of these foul, tax-avoiding Public Sector administrators? Clearly these things need to be handled by someone from the god-sent Private Sector, who will never, ever dodge any tax, ever, no really, we promise. =)
Why are these people not paid from the NHS, where they could be properly taxed, there is no reason to be “off payroll”.
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