Two-thirds support more taxes to ensure NHS spending is kept up
Two in three people are prepared to pay more tax in order to ensure the cash-strapped NHS has the money it needs to provide good care.
New polling for the King’s Fund thinktank found that two-thirds (66%) of the public are willing “to pay more taxes in order to maintain the level of spending needed” on the health service.
Only one in five (20%) would endorse cuts in spending on other services such as welfare and education so that the NHS could receive a boost to its budget. Even fewer – 10% – believe that the health service should reduce either its level of care or range of services to balance its books.
“Clearly the [rising] volume of noise around the problems the NHS is facing, and the warnings from within the health sector around inadequate funding, are increasingly cutting through to the public in a significant way,” said Dan Wellings, a senior policy analyst at the King’s Fund.
“The fact that two-thirds of the public are saying that they would pay more tax to fund it shows the strength of feeling around NHS funding.”
The poll also showed a huge majority, 77%, believed the NHS to be “crucial to British society” and that it must be properly maintained.
The Department of Health said: “It is encouraging to see that support for the NHS remains as high as ever and the public can be reassured that the government is committed to continued investment in the health service, including an extra £8bn over the next five years.”
The 66% backing readiness to pay more tax is one of the highest figures ever recorded since pollsters began asking voters that or a similar question.