25th Oct, 2016

Taxpayers money handed back to GP practices

Aaron Wise 19th Aug, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

MILLIONS of pounds of taxpayers money looks set to be paid back to GP surgeries in Pershore after a change to the way business rates are calculated.

An urgent review by the Government is set to take place after Wychavon District Council was threatened with losing millions of pounds.

The council has appealed against a Business Rates ruling, after a change to the way they are calculated for GP surgeries could see them lose millions, prompting managing director Jack Hegarty, to send a letter to Government to review the situation.

Earlier this year a valuation tribunal ruling resulted in a change to the way Business Rates for purpose built GP surgeries are calculated, meaning in future they will pay significantly less.

It is estimated surgeries in Wychavon will receive a £3.5milliion refund and £600,000 a year on an ongoing basis from this financial year, and the council will have to pay the majority share which will total £1.4million and £250,000 a year ongoing.

It is understood the money related to the payments will be retained by NHS England and the future money by local Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Coun Lynne Duffy, said: “This decision will place even more strain on our finances.

“The one-off refund will have to come from our cash reserves and the ongoing loss will have to be made up through further efficiency savings, carrying out more income generating work for other councils and growing the Business Rates base by providing land for new and expanding businesses.

“We’re hopeful the Government will listen carefully to our concerns on this matter.”

Pershore MP Harriett Baldwin has also vowed to put pressure on the Government and told The Observer she had written to the communities secretary.

“The change could have a major impact on the council’s budget and I have offered the council my full support on this matter,” she added.

“There is a process allowing the council to secure emergency payments from the Government and I hope that this will be available to Wychavon.”