Labour health plans under fire

Labour health plans under fire

Labour’s proposal to axe tax-relief on private health insurance for the over-60s will hit both the elderly and the NHS. It would lead to premiums increasing by up to a third for retired people, and also increase the cost to the NHS of caring for pensioners, the private health industry has warned.

Julian Stainton, managing director of the Western Provident Association, said the cost of cover would be too much for up to half-a-million insured pensioners, and that the saving to the treasury of z110m would be offset by an extra bill to the NHS of z200m.

His claims were backed by private health service provider BUPA which predicted a rapidly increasing burden of state care for an ageing population as a result.

But shadow health minister Tessa Jowell said abolishing the ‘unfair subsidy’ would enable the cash to be used to improve NHS care for the old.

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