Embargoed: 00:01 Thursday 21 October 2021
As part of its ‘War on Waste’ campaign, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) today reveals thousands of pounds from NHS health budgets has been spent on luxuries including hot tubs, football tickets and PlayStations.
Freedom of information requests sent to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) reveal personal health budgets were used to spend £5,000 on a hot tub from NHS North Tyneside CCG, £579.98 from NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG on a PlayStation 4 with VR package and £3,000 from NHS West Sussex CCG for a National Trust membership, Merlin Pass and Chelsea FC season ticket. These examples, all from last year, come alongside thousands spent on pilates classes, horse riding, cinema visits and an electric mountain bike.
The budgets form part of personalised care and support plans, and funds cannot be spent on gambling, debt repayment, alcohol or tobacco.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance is calling on the government to ensure value for money in health spending, following the announcement of a national insurance hike to fund health and social care.
James Roberts, political director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"Taxes on working people should not be going up to pay for health service hot tubs.
"Given the new health and social care levy, taxpayers will not accept their money being wasted. While everyone's care needs will be different, it beggars belief that health budgets could be forking out for jacuzzis, video games and football tickets.
"The upcoming spending review needs to ensure the NHS is offering value for money in every pound it is spending."
TPA spokespeople are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)
Media Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)
Notes to editors:
Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) campaigns to reform taxes and public services, cut waste and speak up for British taxpayers. Find out more at www.taxpayersalliance.com.
TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance estimated that the new health and social care levy could leave workers facing a £4,662 national insurance bill.
- For more FOI stories from our War on Waste campaign, please contact our 24/7 media line.