Daily Archives: November 21, 2011

Nicholas Timmins

Buried away in the sweeping proposals from the government commissioned review of how sickness absence from work should be handled is a small bombshell.

Alongside a new independent assessment service to which patients would be sent after 4 weeks on the sick, plus a new brokering service to help people swap a job they can’t do for one they can, is a proposal for tax relief on private medical insurance and private medical treatment aimed at getting people back to work.

This is a highly sensitive issue. In his determination to seal the NHS off as an electoral issue for the Conservatives, David Cameron, in one of his earliest acts as party leader ruled out tax relief for private medical care – declaring that “we should not use taxpayer’s money to encourage the better off to opt out”. Read more >>

Jim Pickard

If you read Grant Shapps’ statement today the housing minister gives the distinct impression that housebuilding is bouncing back from its recent historic lows.

“Housebuilding in 2010-11 was 29 per cent higher compared to 2008-9, and compared to 2009-10, it was 17 per cent higher,” the minister declared. Read more >>