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Majority support raising tax to support struggling NHS

By Diane King

The NHS dominated headlines this week after the Red Cross declared it a “humanitarian crisis” but latest research from YouGov suggests the public are willing to pay a little extra to support the struggling health service.

The idea was proposed by Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron who suggested that the public could pay an extra penny to support the NHS funding gap.

By 2020/21 NHS England has estimated that its funding gap could potentially be as high as £30 billion.

However research supplied by YouGov states the proportion of people who would support boosting health spending by an extra penny on the basic rate of income tax has increased by eight points since April 2014, this now stands at 42 per cent. The opposition to paying an extra penny has also fallen from 51 per cent to 37 per cent over the same period.

The majority of the public would prefer a policy that meant an extra penny was added on National Insurance contributions.

More that half of people (53 per cent) would support this added penny tax, which is up five points since April 2014. The number of people who oppose the idea has fallen too, with only about a quarter (26 per cent) of people who would oppose the move. This figure has fallen from 37 per cent in 2014.

Younger people and UKIP voters oppose idea

Although the research does show an overall majority, not all social groups agree on raising the tax.

The research shows that people to the left of centre, women, middle class and older people support the policy whereas younger people and UKIP voters oppose it. The working class, men and Conservative voters are evenly split.


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