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#GPnews: Chancellor announces sugar tax will be introduced

16:17 Members of the BMA Council have tweeted that it has called a special ‘NHS in Crisis’ conference on 3 May.

Click here for the developing story.

13:25 Mr Osborne is still delivering his budget but a key headline is that there will, after much debate, be a sugar levy introduced in 2018.

More to follow shortly, in a separate article, on the controversial public health measure…

12:00 It’s officially spring and that means Budget 2016, which will be delivered by Chancellor George Osborne after today’s Prime Minister’s Questions.

Pulse has been catching up with accountants to see what changes in the air could affect GPs in the coming year. GPs appear to have already dodged one significant blow, after mutterings that the changes to tax relief on pension contributions appear to have been dropped.

Bob Senior, head of medical services at accountants RSM UK, told Pulse: ‘Any pension contributions you pay are taken off your top level of income, so effectively you save tax at whatever your top tax rate is.’

This means basic rate payers only save 20% while many GPs would be in 40% bracket, and Mr Senior said there had been suggestions it could be levelled out to a flat 25-30%, which would have been an uplift for many but ‘a bit of a disaster for GPs.’

Pulse put together an accountant’s guide to pensions last month, which you can read here.

10:50 The Welsh Assembly is set to pass a wide-ranging public health bill today which will introduce bans on intimate piercings for under 16s, licensing for tattooists and a ban on e-cigarettes in some public places.

As reported by the BBC, this is a weaker version of the original plan to ban e-cigarettes in all public places. They will now be banned in places such as shops, cinemas and train stations, probably from spring 2017.

Councils will also have to produce a ‘local toilets strategy’ detailing how local toilet needs will be met.

10:05 Elsewhere, nearly half of women who stop smoking during pregnancy restart smoking shortly after they have given birth, the BBC reports

According to research published in the journal Addiction, a new analysis of a number of studies has suggested that 13% of women who enrol on smoking cessation schemes quit during pregnancy – but 43% of these start smoking again within six month of giving birth. 

9:40 Half of children are now resistant to some of the most common forms of antibiotics that are routinely prescribed by GPs, a new major study has found. 

The team of researchers from the University of Bristol looked at rates of resistance in urinary tract infections developed by E.coli – and their findings were based on an international meta-analysis of 58 previous studies of on the subject, concluding that many of most common prescribed antibiotics had high levels of resistance. 

Read Pulse’s full story here