Doctor says weekly covid tests are ‘colossal waste of money’
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North Thanet Conservative MP Sir Roger Gale is leading a push to scrap VAT on covid tests which are carried out by the private sector. The 20 percent addition to the cost means that tests are still charged more than £60 each although they have come down from being more than £100. Currently, the Government is in negotiations over bringing the cost down including scrapping VAT charges but a decision will not be made until August 9 at the earliest according to official papers seen by the Sunday Express.
Sir Roger pointed out that a family with two adults and two children would need three tests each if they flew out on holiday this summer totalling 12 tests.
He said: “At £60 each that is a lot of money on top of the cost of a holiday.
“We have to bring the cost of tests down, progress has been made but if the Government gets rid of VAT on them then that will bring them below £50 which is where we need to be.”
He went on: “I know that government is encouraging staycations to help boost the domestic economy but we need to get people going abroad on holiday as well to boost the economy.”
Airline companies and holiday firms have all been badly hit by lockdown and are looking to get the travel industry going again.
Avi Lasarow, chief executive of Prenetics UK, leaders in digital health and diagnostics which provides PCR testing for the Premier League and many airports and organisations internationally, is leading a campaign to remove VAT from all tests and Covid-related medicines, whether provided by the NHS or doctors, where VAT does not apply), or the private sector (where it does apply).
He said: “We have a passion to help Britain get back to work, travel, and play, and the government testing regime for overseas travel is fully to supported by timely and accurate testing, which means PCR home testing before and post travel.
“We are all in this together, it is inconsistent that families should pay the additional cost of VAT by self-testing in a way which benefits the NHS by keeping the diaries of our doctors and nurses free. There is a double benefit to the country of removing this discriminatory tax.”
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