Axa Health has told chancellor Jeremy Hunt he should implement a tax cut for employers providing private medical insurance (PMI) and wellbeing services in next month’s Budget.
The submission was in response to HM Treasury’s pre-Budget Call for Evidence which will be considered by Hunt. It closed to responses yesterday (1 February).
In its response, Axa Health CEO Tracy Garrad urged the government to support businesses that looked after the health and wellbeing of their employees, as part of their plan to tackle economic inactivity.
“We strongly believe that measures to support health and wellbeing should be prioritised by government and are critical in helping build and sustain the health of the nation,” Garrad said.
“Although the government undoubtedly has difficult decisions to make around funding, we believe that offering a reduction in tax for employers on the PMI and health and wellbeing services they provide could increase provision, reduce the strain on the NHS and benefit the UK economy.”
In support of her call, Garrad pointed to an independent report the insurer commissioned which showed the PMI market contributed an estimated £1.3bn to the economy and society, through cost savings on sickness benefits, improved productivity and fewer sick days, and improvements to quality of life.
“Encouraging more employers to offer PMI and wellbeing services to their people is a positive thing, not only for those individuals who receive it, but for the wider economy too by reducing economic inactivity,” Garrad continued.
“The contribution that businesses make to the health of their workforce shouldn’t be overlooked. Any disincentives, such as increases to taxes on these services could increase pressure on an already stretched NHS.”