Silly season bid to sneak through new prescription charges

Ministers have marked the 73rd anniversary of their party voting against establishing the NHS to launch a surreptitious consultation on the imposition of prescription charges on people aged 60 to 66, to raise an estimated £226m per year.

The 8-week consultation was launched on July 1, just before the NHS birthday, to run through the summer holiday months when Parliament is in recess and the news media are stuffed with trivia, hidden away behind the hysteria over the football, and while many campaigners have been fixated on the recent White Paper and Health and Care Bill.

It argues that the upper age limit for prescription charges was initially linked with the pension age for women. Now, having repeatedly pushed this age further upwards to deny people pensions until 66 and soon 67, they want to follow up by saddling those who have already lost out with prescription charges – which have just risen again to £9.35 per item.

Full story in The Lowdown, 12 July 2021