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Survey shows growing support for tax rises to fund NHS
The latest findings from the British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey reveal that the proportion prepared to pay higher taxes has risen from 41% in 2014 to 61% in 2017.
Conducted between July and October last year, the survey reveals how civil awareness of the NHS’s lack of funding has also increased - almost nine in 10 people believe the health service has a ‘major’ or ‘severe’ funding problem.
However, those willing to pay for non-medical costs in a hospital – such as food and laundry – or pay £10 for each visit to GP or local A&E department dropped by 3% from 2016 to 2017.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said: “The evidence for this is now overwhelming. The public support the NHS. They are rightly worried that standards are slipping. And increasingly – as this survey shows – they are prepared to pay more to fix it.”
Hopson noted that a “proper national debate” is needed on how much to devote to health and care to meet rapidly growing demographic pressures, so people are clear about how much more they will need to pay and what they can expect in return.
Niall Dickson, chief executive of NHS Confederation, said: “The case for more money for both health and social care has been made and it is overwhelming. Just about everyone is calling on the government to act.
“Without action, our health and care system will continue to deteriorate; millions will wait, more will suffer and some will die. It is now clear that the cries for more funding are unequivocal.”
However, Alex Wild, Research Director at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
“Health spending is already running at £425 million per day and the public rightly believe that the NHS needs reform more than extra money. Throwing more money into a poorly designed system will just mean higher pay for staff and lower productivy, exactly what happened in the 2000s when the NHS budget was doubled."