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Car Allowances: NHS

Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 13 January 2010

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what discussions his Department has had with the Department of Health on the effect of approved mileage allowance payment rates on the number of voluntary NHS drivers; (309694)

(2) what account is taken of (a) fuel and (b) other transport costs in setting approved mileage allowance payment rates;

(3) if he will hold a public consultation on rates for the approved mileage allowance payment scheme;

(4) if he will consider the merits of providing higher approved mileage allowance payment rates for drivers working for the voluntary sector.

The Government consider the Approved Mileage Allowance Payment (AMAP) rates to be a fair reflection of the costs of business motoring for the vast majority of drivers.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) conducted a review of the interaction between Approved Mileage Allowance Payments (AMAPs) and Employee Car Ownership Schemes during 2007. The resulting report was published alongside the 2008 pre-Budget report and is available at:

As part of this review, the Department canvassed the views of over 30 other Government Departments. However, the review did not cover the impact of approved mileage allowance payment rates on voluntary drivers because these rates are primarily for employees.

HMRC accept that volunteer drivers who use their own cars and are reimbursed at or below the AMAPs rates do not make a taxable profit. Alternatively, volunteer drivers can be reimbursed the full cost of motoring provided they are able to demonstrate what those costs were. Fuel is one of the factors taken into account in setting AMAP rates, as are other costs of running a private car.

All taxes are kept under review with any decisions, including public consultations, announced by the Chancellor as part of the Budget process.