HC Deb 29 June 1950 vol 476 cc2434-5
34. Dr. Broughton

asked the Minister of Health whether he will increase the mileage allowance for general medical practitioners in rural areas to compensate for the rise in the cost of petrol.

42. Brigadier Medlicott

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that the rise in the cost of petrol has added appreciably to the expenses of general medical practitioners in country districts; and if he will arrange for an appropriate increase in their mileage allowance.

Mr. Bevan

I am always ready to discuss with the profession any ideas for the better distribution of the total moneys available for general practitioners, but I could not regard the imposition of a new tax as justifying any addition to the total amount.

Dr. Broughton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that much of the help which he gave to the rural practitioner by increasing the mileage allowance a short time ago has now been counteracted by the rise in the cost of petrol?

Mr. Bevan

If every time a new tax was imposed reliefs were given to meet it there would be no revenue from new taxation.

Mr. Baldwin

Could not the right hon. Gentleman give more sympathetic consideration to this matter, which is causing hardship to doctors in scattered rural areas? May not the result be greater difficulty in getting doctors for scattered areas?

Mr. Bevan

I have not yet observed that the members of the medical profession are deficient in organisations to put forward schemes on their own behalf.

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