HOUSEHOLDS in England have paid more than £6 billion in NHS prescription charges since the fees were scrapped in Scotland, according to research commissioned by the SNP.

House of Commons Library research found that since 2011, prescription charges in England have generated £6.6bn in revenues.

In England, the cost of prescription payment certificates will rise on May 1, going up by 2.6% to £9.90.

In Scotland, where prescriptions became free in 2011, the net cost for dispensing items and providing services in 2022/23 was £1.5bn.

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SNP health spokeswoman Amy Callaghan (below) said: “This latest analysis from the House of Commons Library highlights the important action being taken by a progressive, forward-thinking SNP Scottish Government.

“While households in England prepare to face another hike in prescription charges, households in Scotland can be safe in the knowledge that fees will remain abolished.

“This is the simple case of a tale of two governments.

The National:

“On one hand, you have a UK Government who would rather take more money out of people’s pockets during a cost-of-living crisis, and on the other you have an SNP Scottish Government who would rather put money back into the pockets of struggling households.

“With Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party offering no change on prescription charges, and aligning itself with Tory spending plans, it’s clear that no change is coming at Westminster.

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“Whilst Scotland remains tied to this archaic system, it is imperative that we continue to return a strong group of SNP MPs who will stand up for Scotland’s interest and values at every possible opportunity.”