Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Protesters call on Morecambe Bay Trust board to halt Pharmacy sell-off

Photo: No Health Sell-Off at Morecambe Bay

Community campaigners from across Morecambe Bay will hold a lobby outside the Royal Lancaster Infirmary tomorrow (Wednesday 30th July) to call on the Morecambe Bay Trust Board to halt the sell-off of pharmacy services and hold an inquiry and public consultation over the sale.

Last week the No Health Sell-off at Morecambe Bay campaign handed in their petition to the acting Chair of the Trust, John Hutton on Wednesday (23rd July) with over 9000 signatures on it.

Health campaigners in Morecambe Bay are also furious over revelations about a tax loophole which stacks the cards against NHS pharmacy providers. An unfair loophole in VAT rules means pharmaceutical companies like Lloyds and Boots don’t have to pay 20 per cent VAT but NHS providers do.

Cat Smith from No Health Sell-off at Morecambe Bay said: “Today we are demanding that the Trust halts the process of selling-off pharmacy services because we need transparency. Instead the Trust should hold an inquiry and a public consultation over the sell-off.

"Growing numbers of people from across the Morecambe Bay area are getting angry about the agenda to sell-off NHS services," she addd. "They were never consulted and when we ask straight forward questions we can’t get straight forward answers. The last time we wrote to the Trust to ask about the sale the deputy chief executive’s response never mentioned the VAT loophole that lets private companies off paying VAT. It’s time to halt the sale.”

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