Jim Dowdall: Why health minister must act to reduce insurance levy
The decision to cut tax relief on health insurance was ill-informed and ham-fisted. Ministers should take a step back from the situation that has been created, and they will see that a reversal of the decision would make sense on a number of fronts.
For decades, successive governments have used tax relief on premiums to encourage citizens to take out health insurance. The merits are obvious, policyholders and their families (who are already paying for the public health system through their taxes) can get access to private medical facilities.
In doing so, this reduces pressure on a public health system that does not have the capacity to deliver the health services required.