Having seen our IPT Petition brought to an early close as a result of the dissolution of Parliament in preparation for the General Election, and with the subsequent loss of all votes already cast in favour of our petition, we have taken some time to reflect upon our next steps.
During that time we have consulted with Intermediary & Corporate Members, as well as Intermediaries and Providers who are not currently AMII members, to counsel their opinion and to enlist their support.
We consider the IPT Petition to be an industry-wide issue where AMII is merely the representative of all stakeholders who are impacted, including, and not least, the consumer.
We have also consulted with political commentators to establish how they see the political landscape evolving. This is significant, as if we were to bring a second petition now, we would have a period of six months from launch to achieve the 100,000 signatures required to see IPT debated in Parliament.
In any event we would not be able to re-commence a second IPT Petition until such time as parliament has re-established the Parliamentary Committee who oversee and approve petitions to Government. This may not be concluded until September / October 2017.
The consensus is that there is much political uncertainty, with a distinct possibility of a leadership challenge in the Conservative Party immediately following the Summer Recess, with a possible second General Election likely within the six-month period.
As a result, the AMII Executive Committee has taken the decision to defer the launch of any second IPT Petition until such time as the Parliamentary Petitions Committee is reconvened and there is every likelihood we will get a clear six months to achieve the required votes.
In the meantime, we will continue to lobby the Government and interested industry parties around the negative impact on both the NHS and private sectors as a result of increasing IPT.
We are pleased to see Craig Tracey, MP was returned as Chair of the All Parties Committee for Insurance and Financial Services. Craig was previously an Insurance Broker prior to becoming an MP and is both appreciative of and sympathetic to our concerns.
A key element in our success will be the ability to demonstrate the increased financial and operational strain placed on the NHS as a result of consumers, who would otherwise be prepared to take responsibility for their own health, being forced back into the NHS. And at what cost?
We are working with some of our Provider members in order to place some monetary value to that consideration.
AMII recently launched a Parliamentary Petition to encourage a debate in Parliament around Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) and to put forward our arguments as to why healthcare insurance should be exempt from IPT.
However, as a result of the recent announcement of a forthcoming General Election, the closing date for our petition has changed. Originally, the petition was to remain open for a period of six month to 5 October 2017, during which time we had to gain 100,000 signatories in order for the petition to be debated in Parliament.
Because Parliament will be dissolved on 3 May 2017 for the General Election, all parliamentary business - including petitions - must stop until after the election. The petitions site will be closed for new petitions and people will not be able to sign existing petitions.
Our current petition will be available for people to read on the site even though it will be closed for signatures. The petition cannot be reopended after the election. As a result we will have to start the petition again when the site reopens after the election, but we cannot transfer existing signatures to the new petition.
However, this isn't necessarily bad news. For our campaign to be successful, it is important that momentum is seen to build quickly - at 10,000 signatures you get a response from Government, which provides an opportunity for us to enter into dialogue about the issue and explain our position and arguments in more detail in preparation for a debate if we reach 100,000 signatures. As such, the current postponement of petitions gives us some time to re-visit our collective approach in the hope that each of us can fully prepare to promote the new petition to every person IPT affects, whether they be companies, employees or individuals.
AMII remains committed to achieving a parliamentary debate on the impact of IPT on healthcare insurance, including how it indirectly affects an already overstrecthed NHS.
Please keep a watch for further announcements after the General Election when we will seek to relaunch our petition with a further 6-month period to achieve our target number of signatories.
If you wish to provide us with any feedback in the meantime, please use the Contact Us form on this website.
Thank you in anticipation of your continued support.