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