NHS services are being slashed due to a lack of funds, yet private companies providing NHS services, might soon be exempt from paying corporation tax on their profits. Under a new government-commissioned review of competition in the health service.
Monitor, the NHS's economic regulator, argues that as public sector hospitals do not pay corporation tax and VAT on supplies, whereas private firms do, the result is an "unfair playing field" in healthcare.
Critics argue that it is ridiculous for companies to lobby to provide NHS services for profit and then to claim it was unfair to pay tax on their profits. Academics say the regulators have been "captured" by the industry. A professor of health economics at the University of York, told the Guardian that “Monitor has been influenced by business, this looks like pandering to special interests to me”. If companies wanted to provide NHS hospital services and not pay tax then they could do so by becoming charities."