Four in five Brits back NHS budget boost, survey finds

Posted On: 
13th June 2018

Four out of five people in the UK back a significant budget increase for the NHS, according to a new poll.

Voters backed fines for missed appointments as a way to raise funds for the NHS, a new poll has found.
Credit: 
PA Images

Fresh polling for the NHS confederation found that 77% of people backed a 4% rise in health spending over the next 15 years to help improve the NHS while 82% backed a 3.9% rise to help tackle the growing social care crisis.

The rise would see the NHS budget soar from its current £128bn budget to £234bn by 2033.

NHS to get ‘significant cash boost’ on its 70th birthday, Jeremy Hunt reveals

Theresa May’s easing of immigration cap will not fix NHS shortages, warn ministers

Labour to overhaul Tories' NHS structural reforms, says Jon Ashworth

But voters were split on how the cash should be raised with a majority against tax hikes to pay for the increase.

The Ipsos-Mori poll found that 71% backed funding the spending increase by fining patients for missing GP and hospital appointments and that 47% thought that charging patients for treatment when they suffered from illness related to lifestyle choices, such as obesity or smoking, was a fair way to fund the cash boost.

Only 45% of the 1000 adults polled thought that a National Insurance hike was the best way to raise the cash, with 42% preferring a change to income tax or forcing patients to pay for some treatments which are currently free.

Under a quarter, 23%, thought that increasing Government borrowing was the right way to tackle the spending shortfall.

The polling supports calls from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt who has pushed for 4% rises in health spending, but has so far been blocked by the Treasury.

It comes ahead of a promised cash boost from the Prime Minister for the beleaguered health service as part of celebrations for the NHS’s 70th birthday.

NHS Confederation Chief Niall Dickson said: “What this shows is overwhelming support across the country for increased funding for the NHS but also for social care.

“The public increasingly realises the importance of a health and care system that is fit for the future.”