The IMO has proposed tax relief for trainees required to ‘double rent’ or pay concurrent mortgage and rent payments due to their rotations, the Medical Independent (MI) understands.
The union also supports greater regionalisation of training to minimise the need for trainees to uproot from their accommodation. However, regionalisation has not yet been systematically implemented by the training bodies. Rotations are driven by specialty-specific requirements and the service provision needs of the health system.
The recent NCHD agreement between the IMO, Department of Health, and the HSE acknowledged “a particular issue for NCHDs who rotate and have to rent a second residence”. The parties recognised “measures are required to address this specific issue” and would be agreed as a priority.
NCHD committee member Dr Brian Doyle told MI that in many other employment sectors, employers cover the costs borne by employees who are required to move locations as part of their role.
“But NCHDs fully bear that cost themselves at the moment and it is grossly unfair. I think regionalising training will remove some of that [expense]. The HSE have recognised this is a particular issue in the latest industrial relations agreement… but no solutions have been found to help alleviate it at the moment.”
Dr Doyle said if the HSE was not going to cover the additional accommodation costs borne by their employee NCHDs, measures such as tax relief needed to be considered by the State. The tax relief measure has been put forward by the union.
A spokesperson for the Department of Finance stated: “Any proposals for tax-related measures are considered in the context of the annual Budget and Finance Bill cycle.”