Socialist Worker

Private hospitals avoid £52 million tax bill by posing as charities

Issue No. 2568

Bupas spin-off Nuffield saves nearly £13 million

Bupa's spin-off Nuffield saves nearly £13 million (Pic: geograph.org.uk/N Chadwick)


Private hospitals will dodge up to £52 million in business rates over the next five years, according to surveyors CVS.

That’s because one in four private hospitals are actually registered as charities.

This clever scam means that they can get up to an 80 percent rebate from their business rate bill.

This includes Nuffield Health, which is the third largest charity in Britain with an annual income of more than £700 million.

Nuffield is expected to pay just £3.2 million over the next five years—a saving of nearly £13 million thanks to its charitable status.

It presents itself as a benevolent charity that reinvests all of its money into helping patients. In reality, Nuffield was set up in 1957 by the British United Provident Association, a health insurance company.

It was part of a web of private interests that fought a rear-guard action to undermine the NHS throughout the 1950s. The Fellowship for Freedom in Medicine, an outfit of right wing GPs that was opposed to nationalised health care, worked closely with it.

Today the association is better known as just Bupa, the international private health firm. It posted half-yearly profits of £330 million this year.

Nuffield, its spin-off, now runs a sprawling empire of 31 hospitals and 111 gyms.

Meanwhile, NHS hospitals are being hit hard. While private hospitals are saving £52 million, NHS hospitals will be hit by a £1.83 billion bill for business rates over the same period.

It will come on top of a 19 percent increase this year due to a business rate revaluation in April.

Some health bosses in the NHS are calling for equality with the private hospitals. That’s not enough. It’s time to put an end to the sick scam of private healthcare that puts money ahead of patients.


FAULTY FIRM: PriceWaterhouseCoopers, top accountants

  • It was fined £5 million for an audit of RSM Tenton
  • After the audit the firm went into administration
  • PwC specialises in making workers pay
  • In 2007 PwC helped Northern Rock sell its mortgage assets while acting as its auditor

Rees-Mogg rakes it in

Troublemaker favourite Jacob Rees-Mogg has trousered £4 million from Somerset Capital Management since becoming an MP in 2010.

In the last year alone the Tory right’s favourite toff got £1 million from the City firm he helped set up.

On average Rees-Mogg takes £11,600 a month—on top of his £74,000 a year MPs’ salary.


Who makes the world go round?

It took a solar eclipse for bosses in the US to admit that their profit comes from workers.

Consultancy firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas reckon that if everyone took 20 minutes off to watch it’d cost $694 million in lost output.

“There’s very few people who are not going to walk outside when there’s a celestial wonder happening,” they moaned.


Sinking the Tories’ imperial ambitions

Theresa may hailed the launch of HMS Queen Elizabeth as a sign that Britain remains a “great global maritime nation”.

According to the prime minister, “Britain can be proud of what it represents.”

Britannia may or may not still rule the waves, but it’s certainly not running the skies.

The Royal Navy’s new £3 billion supercarrier will formally enter war service by the end of this year.

But the Royal Airforce squadron it’s supposed to carry isn’t going to be launched until 2023.

To save the Tories from the embarrassment of an aircraft carrier with no aircraft, the US stepped in. US Marine Corp F35B fighter jets will use the ship instead.

There’s no better representation of Britain’s welcome decline as an imperial power than HMS Queen Elizabeth.


Queen Camilla would cause a right royal riot

Riots would sweep across Britain if Camilla Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall, became queen.

That’s according to princess Diana’s former right-hand man Michael Gibbins. He made a series of “revelations” in the run up to the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death.

The Sun used it to run a tirade about Charles and Camilla having an affair before their marriage.

Then on the front page, the Sun splashed Diana’s summer love affair with Dodi Fayed, the billionaire son of an arms dealing dynasty.

That’s different because Diana just wanted “a fun summer on his yacht”.

Troublemaker doesn’t have Gibbins’s power of riot prediction.

But with the queen hinting she’ll step down and Charles’ approval ratings falling, it would be worth inciting one against the whole lot of pampered, feuding aristos.


Here today, Guam tomorrow?

It was duck and cover on the US’s Pacific island colony Guam last week.

A “civil danger warning” was broadcast—

by accident. This is meant to signal a possible nuclear or military attack.

The false alarm, blamed on “human error”, came as Donald Trump ramps up tensions with North Korea. Its leader Kim Jong Un has threatened retaliation on the island.

Despite the war of words, Guam’s homeland security chief George Charfauros, said there was “no concern of imminent threat to Guam”.


It’s strictly come racist

Bruce Forsyth danced off this mortal coil at his exclusive Wentworth Estate last Friday.

The Troublemaker will remember the popular TV personality for rhumba—and racism.

After a Strictly Come Dancing contestant was called a “paki”, Forsyth shrugged, “Everybody has a nickname.”

“We used to have a sense of humour about this,” he added.


The things they say

‘He’s been working 3 day weeks since day one’

Former Department for Exiting the European Union chief of staff James Chapman launches a series of attacks on his former boss David Davis

‘Still got Farage on speed dial DD?’

The right wing liberal Chapman continues his Twitter war last week

‘Not on speed dial, I haven’t used it in lord knows’

Brexit secretary David Davis responds to the allegation

‘DD was also relaxed about Andrew Neil as they drink lots together regularly’

Chapman claimed right wing Brexit secretary Davis drinks with right wing BBC journalist Andrew Neil

‘Simply untrue. Have dined with DD once in 10 years. NEVER had drinks with him in 20 years or more’

Andrew Neil strenuously denies ever drinking with Davis


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