Banbury Constituency Labour Party

Impending tax changes could deepen GP crisis warns Banbury Labour Councillor

Cllr Sean Woodcock

Cllr Sean Woodcock

Changes to taxation due to take effect in April will further hamper efforts to recruit and retain GPs, and could affect local surgeries, a Labour councillor has said.

Sean Woodcock, Leader of the Labour group on Cherwell District Council, says, “There is a national shortage of GP’s and locally we have already seen the closure of the Middleton Cheney Branch of Horsefair surgery because they couldn’t recruit enough GP’s.

IR35 tax status was created in 2000 by Labour’s Gordon Brown as a counter to tax avoidance. In the Autumn Statement 2016, the Chancellor Philip Hammond announced changes shifting responsibility for tax compliance away from the contractor and on to the public sector.

Most GPs and locums are self-employed ‘contractors’ and there is a real danger that these changes are highly likely to act as a disincentive for them to work for the National Health Service.

I call on the government, through our Member of Parliament Victoria Prentis, to look again at how these changes will impact on the NHS. There needs to be some tough thinking and then tough action to tackle the problems we are seeing in recruiting and retaining enough doctors.”

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