Boris Johnson vows to fix NHS pension tax issue if he becomes PM

Holly Roach reports...

Conservative leadership contender Boris Johnson has promised to fix the pension tax relief rules that are causing senior doctors and highly-paid staff in the NHS to work fewer hours leading to longer waiting lists.

Speaking at a Telegraph Live hustings event on Monday (8 July), the former foreign secretary and Mayor of London said the current rule is “obviously wrong” and said he had “repeatedly” tried to persuade chancellor Philip Hammond to address issues with the £1.1m lifetime allowance.

Annual allowance rules are a particular problem with NHS staff, especially the tapered annual allowance – which restricts the annual allowance of those earning over £150,000.

The limits have landed staff with huge tax bills and resulted in thousands retiring early, while many doctors and consultants are turning down work to avoid the charges.

Johnson’s announcement comes after data seen by The Telegraph showed a 50% increase in waiting list lengths in the last three months at NHS facilities in some parts of the country.

Back in October last year, The Telegraph announced Hammond was considering either cutting the rate of relief or reducing the tax-free annual allowance, but this has not come to fruition.

Johnson revealed he would revise the rules for all NHS workers – not just those in high-earning positions – if he becomes Prime Minister on 23 July. Of the current tax relief situation, he said: “It’s causing a real problem… and we will fix it.”