Hospice UK welcomes action to close the VAT gap for charitable hospices announced in Autumn Statement

Dec 03, 2014

The Chancellor today announced in his Autumn Statement that he plans to give charitable hospices across the UK a rebate to cover VAT costs on certain non-business supplies.

The Fair Playing Field report by Monitor -published in March 2013 - recommended that the Government report on the case for extending VAT refunds to charitable hospices.

Welcoming the rebate, which is estimated to be worth over £4m annually, David Praill, Chief Executive of the charity Hospice UK, said:

“We are delighted the Chancellor has acted to close the VAT gap faced by charitable hospices which, unlike NHS providers, have been unable to reclaim VAT on many non-business supplies.

“This positive change will help relieve the considerable VAT burden on charitable hospices in the UK, enabling them to invest charitable funds in the delivery of front line care and help them reach more terminally ill people and their families.

“The announcement comes as hospices face increased demand for their care, as a result of the increasingly complex needs of Britain’s ageing population.

“Hospice UK, working with Sue Ryder and the Charity Tax Group, have been calling for this anomaly on VAT recovery to be addressed since 2011. It is only right that there is a level playing field between local hospice charities and other providers of palliative care. This rebate scheme recognises the unique contribution of charitable hospices to the health economy and also the invaluable support of local people who give their time to support hospices through fundraising and volunteering.

“We very much look forward to working with the Treasury and HMRC to successfully implement this new rebate scheme for hospices.”

Notes to Editor

  • Section 41 of the 1994 VAT Act allows NHS providers to recover VAT on certain non-business supplies, including catering supplies, laundry and cleaning supplies, staff training, vehicle costs, waste disposal, maintenance and repairs.
  • Hospices are unique among charitable providers of healthcare because they contribute so significantly to the health economy. Last year hospices in the UK spent £700 million on caring for patients, their carers and families.
  • Hospices in the UK receive on average a third of their funding from the Government, with the remainder coming from charitable funds.
  • Around £2m is raised each day for hospices by local people and businesses. More than 125,000 people volunteer in hospices across the UK, with a financial value of over £112m.
  • Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice care and the only membership body for organisations providing hospice care.  We support and champion the work of more than 200 of these organisations across the UK. Hospices provide support to 360,000 people, including patients and their families.
  • Hospices, and other organisations which provide hospice care, offer vital care for people with terminal or life-limiting conditions and also support their families and carers.
  • For further information follow us on Twitter @hospiceukPA.
  • Get all the latest news from the hospice and palliative care sector, as well as patient stories, on ehospice UK at: www.ehospice.com/uk This service is managed by Hospice UK. You can also follow ehospice news on Twitter at @ehospicenews.

Media enquiries

Please contact Suzanne Stevenson on 0207 520 8296 or by email at s.stevenson@hospiceuk.org. For out of hours media enquiries please call 07881 940 318.

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