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London MP praises impact of £2,000 tax break

The tax cut has helped Sharmans Pharmacy employ an extra pharmacist, says Nick Hurd MP (middle)

A London MP has visited a local pharmacy to see how C+D's tax cut campaign helped it deliver more clinical services.

Conservative MP Nick Hurd said staff at Sharmans Pharmacy in his Northwood, Ruislip and Pinner constituency made it "quite clear" that the employment allowance - which cut up to £2,000 from a business's annual national insurance contributions – had allowed them to employ another pharmacist.

The government overturned its decision to exclude independent pharmacies from its business tax cut in May following a three-week campaign by C+D.

Mr Hurd MP said he realised that the tax cut gave Sharmans the "nudge" it needed to employ another part-time pharmacist. "I got the point, in this case literally," Mr Hurd said after receiving a flu jab at the pharmacy last week (November 17).

Sharmans' superintendent pharmacist Rikin Patel said he sent C+D's template campaign letter – written for contractors to send to their MP – to Mr Hurd in April, who then wrote to the Department of Work and Pensions to highlight the "severity" of not allowing pharmacies to receive the allowance.

Mr Patel told C+D that the tax cut had given him the "confidence" to employ another pharmacist and provide "extra services" to patients.

"It's generated new income for us. We've been able to offer the winter flu jab, a private flu jab for patients and invest time in clinical services like NHS health checks and smoking cessation," he said.

The campaign showed that pharmacists needed to "shout more" about important issues, and that they could be successful if they got politicians on board, Mr Patel said. "The moral of the story is contact your MP if you've got an issue or you want to highlight something, and let them take it further," he added.

Following the government's decision to include contractors in the tax break in May, pharmacy bodies praised the outcome as an example of the sector working together.

Last week, the all-party pharmacy group (APPG) wrote to backbench MPs from every party, urging them to call for a pharmacy flu service in every constituency.  

How has the employment allowance helped your pharmacy?

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Uma Patel, Community pharmacist

Employ another pharmacist for £2000!!
The treasury has given the allowance but now the SSP payment is not deductible from the employer contribution.
I have paid 6 months SSP to a part time staff member off sick, so most of the allowance is used up.
There is no free lunch.

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