The government could be forced to change pensions rules in order to end conflict with NHS doctors.

Doctors have recently been refusing overtime shifts after being hit with ‘punitive tax bills’ following changes to the amount that can be accrued tax-free. A joint statement released by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Treasury, stated that new rules would allow NHS employees to scale down their pension contributions in order to avoid breaching the annual tax-free allowance. The annual allowance was cut massively from £255,000 in 2010/11 to £40,000 from 2014/15 onwards.

This conflict has been linked to a rise in waiting times for routine surgery as doctors are refusing to work beyond normal hours.

Commenting on the issue, Chancellor Sajid Javid said: ‘The government is committed to ensuring that British people see a real difference in public services, getting quicker GP appointments and a reduction in waiting times.

‘Critical to that is introducing flexibility into the system so that our hospitals have the staff they need to deliver high-quality patient care, which is why we’ve listened to concerns and will be reviewing the operation of the tapered annual allowance.’

Quote from Nigel Holland:

“Doctors have a tough decision on whether they want to pay to work extra hours. There are two solutions to the long wait times for surgeries, increase the annual allowance to make working extra hours viable or increase the funding for the NHS so that more doctors can be hired.”