Families would back a £2,000-a-year tax rise to fund the NHS as long as the cash isn’t wasted, says Health Secretary
- Jeremy Hunt said families would be willing to pay higher taxes to fund the NHS
- IFS economists say funding increases of four per cent a year may be required
- Brexiteers are demanding the PM honour the Leave campaign’s NHS pledges
Jeremy Hunt has insisted that families would be more than willing to pay higher taxes to fund the NHS – as long as they knew the money would not be wasted.
The Health Secretary was speaking at the launch of a major report warning households they face a £2,000-a-year tax rise to save the Health Service.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies said taxation may need to rise to historically high levels in order to give the NHS the money it needs to cope with an ageing population.
The economists said that to get the NHS back on track with targets that are currently being missed, funding increases of 4 per cent a year would be required over the next 15 years.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt (pictured) has insisted that families would be more than willing to pay higher taxes to fund the NHS – as long as they knew the money would not be wasted
Mr Hunt’s intervention comes as senior Brexiteers demanded Theresa May honour the Leave side’s pledge during the EU referendum campaign to spend an extra £350million a week on the NHS.
Cabinet ministers Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are lobbying behind the scenes for substantial increases in Health Service spending, which they believe is a key reason why so many voted for Brexit.
Yesterday Mr Hunt said the British public were ‘passionate’ about the NHS. He added: ‘Poll after poll shows that they do recognise that through the tax system we will end up having to contribute more and there is a willingness to do that, providing they can see the money going to the NHS and providing they can see that it is not being wasted.
‘From the Chancellor’s point of view he well understands that, he has a responsibility to make sure that the funding for all public services is within what the country can afford and of course that is important because the NHS depends on a strong economy more than other health systems because the vast majority of our funding comes directly from tax coffers.’
Boris Johnson speaks in York during the 2016 referendum campaign, when he toured the country in a bus emblazoned with a slogan promising more money for the NHS
Mr Hunt added that the Prime Minister is also passionate about the NHS and understood the need for a ‘multi-year settlement’ of finances.
During the 2016 referendum campaign Mr Johnson toured the country in a bus emblazoned with the slogan: ‘We send the EU £350million a week – let’s fund our NHS instead.’
It was claimed earlier this week that Mrs May was set to announce a substantial spending rise which would meet the Leave campaign’s pledge by 2019.
- Overnight bed occupancy rates in NHS hospitals between January and March were the worst ever recorded. Bed occupancy levels reached 92.6 per cent, exceeding the recommended 85 per cent to maintain patient safety standards.
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