SNP Minister Indifferent to Impact of Tax Increases on NHS Staff in Scotland

Miles Briggs has taken part in today’s budget debate remarking on the Impact of Higher Taxes on the Recruitment and Retention of NHS Staff. SNP Ministers’ have failed to put in place long-term NHS workforce plans, which has meant that private agency staffing costs have rocketed: in 2016/17 NHS Boards spent £171 million on agency staff, a real terms increase of 79% in just 5 years. Also, the spending on locum staff was almost a quarter of a billion pounds in 2015/16 with some health boards almost doubling their locum spend in a year.

Miles spoke, in regards to NHS staff retention and recruitment, about how he was disappointed but perhaps not surprised that the Health Secretary confirmed to him in a written Parliamentary answer earlier this week that the SNP Scottish Government undertook absolutely no assessment of how the higher taxes it wants in Scotland could impact on the recruitment and retention of NHS staff. 

This lack of assessment is despite public warnings from the BMA and others that SNP tax hike proposals for middle and higher earners could make the recruitment of GPs, consultants and other highly-skilled NHS professionals in Scotland even more difficult.

Miles Briggs comments:

“SNP Ministers claim that  increases in taxes are to improve our public services, but what they haven’t considered is that for a lot of NHS staff it will mean less coming into their bank account each month.

“Recent figures have shown that more than 1600 Nurses in Scotland have indicated they want to leave in the past five years, which is alarming.

“SNP Ministers seem to be incapable of considering the impact that their decisions have on NHS staff and for a lot of them it will be the last straw.”

“This is yet another example of SNP Minister’s lack of joined up thinking and inability to see the bigger picture.”



Miles Briggs