NHS prescription charges are to be frozen in ministers’ latest move to ease the cost of living crisis.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the charges, which normally rise in line with inflation, would remain in place this year to “put money back in people’s pockets” and save £17m for patients in England.
It means the charge for a single prescription will remain at £9.35, while a three-month Prescription Prepayment Certificate (PPC) will remain at £30.25.
Twelve month PPCs will remain at £108.10 and can be paid in installments.
Javid said: ‘The rise in the cost of living has been inevitable as we face global challenges and the repercussions of Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine.
“While we cannot completely prevent these increases, where we can help we absolutely will.
“That’s why I’m freezing prescription fees to help alleviate some of these pressures and put money back in people’s pockets.”
The move comes after Boris Johnson instructed his cabinet to come up with measures to ease pressure on family budgets.
Meanwhile, the prime minister also told ministers to draw up plans to cut 90,000 civil service jobs over the next three years, bringing the workforce back to where it was before the pandemic.
But with the Bank of England forecasting inflation this year to hit double digits, the government is likely to remain under pressure to go further.
After the Conservatives lost almost 500 seats in local council elections, some Tories have called for tax cuts as the only way to provide real help to those who are struggling.
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