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Gold, incentives and meh

BMA stands firm on pensions cap

The BMA has vowed there will be no compromise in negotiations with the Government

over a potential cap on GPs'


Speaking a week after Pulse revealed a cap was back on the agenda, Dr Andrew Dearden, chair of the BMA pensions committee, said giving any ground would set a damaging precedent.

Dr Dearden said negotiators had had 'one or two amicable chats' to date with Department of Health officials.

He said: 'They've said "would you like to be helpful?" We've said "no, we'll stick to the contractual arrangements".'

Dr Dearden added: 'There is absolutely no room in my mind for any negotiations at all on the issue of the dynamising

factor for 2003 to 2006.

'How could you trust the Government again if they tried to backtrack because they got it wrong?'

GPs around the country said there would be 'open rebellion' if the dynamising factor, which uprates GPs' pensions according to average earnings each year (see box left), was capped.

Dr Mark Sanford-Wood, chair of North Devon LMC, said ministers could forget about practice-based commissioning if they cut pensions.

He said: 'If they actually tried to do it there would be open


What is the dynamising factor?

• Increases GPs' pension pot in line with average earnings.

• Is applied retrospectively, so first year's contribution of GP with 20 years' service will have been dynamised 20 times.

• From 2003, set in line with average UK GP profit increases.

• In 2003/04, GP profits were up 12.9 per cent, so factor was 12.9.

• Expected to be 18 to 20 per cent for 2004/05 and 8 to 10 per cent for 2005/06.

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