On the 5th February a panel of 10 senior figures from the NHS, general practice and nursing, provided their recommendations for the future funding of the NHS.
The panel said the NHS in England should be given an extra £4bn on top of inflation in the next financial year. To fund this, it suggested replacing National Insurance with a new NHS Tax. The money collected from this tax would only be used to fund the NHS and social care.
In response to this idea, more than half (57%) of the UK public support this revised funding approach, including 22% who gave the most positive response possible of ‘strongly support’. One in five (20%) oppose these possible changes, with a similar proportion (23%) unsure.
Support for a new NHS Tax is highest among those aged 65 to 74 (72%) and those aged 74 and over (68%). In comparison, support is found among less than half of 25-34 year olds (48%). This strong support among respondents around or above the age of retirement is particularly interesting given that National Insurance contributions are made by employees.
No significant variations in the support for to these proposals were found by household income or socio-economic group (SEG), although those in the DE group were significantly more likely to oppose this type of NHS funding reform (28%).
The same poll also asked individuals to indicate what the most important issue is to them from a list of eight possible options. Among those who selected ‘healthcare and the NHS’ as most important to them, 71% support the NHS tax described, a proportion that is significantly above the survey average of 57%.
Commenting on these results Steve Handley, BMG Research Director said:
“A winter of NHS strain has once again brought the issue of NHS funding into sharp focus. These latest polling numbers suggest that on balance NHS funding reform is favoured by the public. But the proportion of the public who are uncertain makes it unclear how much political capital would be gained by the ambitious vision set out in February.”
Methodology, fieldwork dates, and a full breakdown of these results can be found here.
For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.
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