Wednesday 18 October 2017

Health cover tax relief to be axed

Health Minister Simon Harris Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Health Minister Simon Harris Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Niall O'Connor and Charlie Weston

Tens of thousands of health insurance customers are facing significant hikes in their annual bills under controversial proposals due to be considered by Health Minister Simon Harris.

A high-powered Dáil committee is to tell the Government to scrap or phase out the tax relief on health insurance in a move that will send the cost of policies rocketing.

The Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare will argue the tax relief is effectively a subsidy for private insurance firms and should be scrapped, the Irish Independent can reveal.

However, such a move would add €600 to the annual cost of health insurance for a typical family.

Scrapping the tax relief would hit older people particularly hard, experts point out.

Meanwhile, a row over water bills has brought the prospect of a general election dramatically closer.

Fianna Fáil teamed up with Sinn Féin to inflict an embarrassing water charges defeat on Housing Minister Simon Coveney yesterday. Fine Gael will today refuse to sign-off on a report that ends the existing regime of water charges.

Irish Independent

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