An amazing piece of evidence revealing that they were up to 2,400 off pay roll people in the NHS was slipped into an inquiry by the House of Lords by the Department of Health last week.
The findings published today in a report by Exaro News reveals that as many NHS staff as Whitehall staff were avoiding paying tax and national insurance at source – bringing the total in government to nearly 5000 in 2012.
Now no doubt some people on short-term contracts can justify this but what is becoming increasingly clear from the evidence submitted by the Department of Health ( see page 91 onwards) that many do not.
The worst offenders appear to be high earners at the top of NHS Foundation Trusts – where over a third -51 out of 147 – had someone at the top avoiding paying tax and national insurance at source. Someone was even off pay roll and claiming a full pension from the taxpayer as well!
Monitor,the regulatory authority for NHS Foundation Trusts, is currently conducting an inquiry into exactly who is benefiting – and as a result numbers are shrinking.
But we don’t know yet whether Monitor is going to name and shame the trusts and the people taking advantage of this tax loophole. Well if the organisation has got any teeth it should be like the National Audit Office and publish a full and detailed report. Avoiding tax while working for the cash strapped NHS is particularly nasty and greedy and should be stamped out. Let’s see if Monitor is going to do its job.