Tory voters back income tax hike to fund NHS as Theresa May set to pledge more cash
Nearly two-thirds of Conservative voters support increasing income tax to boost funding for the NHS, according to a new poll.
A survey by YouGov and 38 Degrees found that 66% of the public, including 63% of Tory voters, would be willing to pay an extra 1% on income tax to pay for the health service.
According to the poll, 75% of Remain voters and 62% of Leave voters say they would support such a move.
It comes as it emerged the Prime Minister is set to pledge an extra £5bn per year to the NHS for the next four years as part of a “multi-year” settlement to mark the 70th anniversary of the health service.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Mrs May would use a “Brexit dividend”, gained from the money saved from by ending pay-outs to Brussels, to help fund the extra cash on the NHS.
The news follows a series of warnings from senior health figures about the need for a fresh cash injection for the health service.
The Sun said on Friday that the figure offered marks a compromise between the Department of Health – which demanded 5% – and Chancellor Philip Hammond – who wanted to cap the extra money at 2%.
Commenting on today’s poll, David Babbs, the executive director for 38 Degrees, said: "The Government knows the NHS needs more sustainable funding, but the last few days proves they haven’t worked out how. They now have a clear mandate from the British people, who are willing to pay a bit more in income tax to give our NHS the proper funding boost it needs - not a sticking plaster solution.
"A penny on income tax to pay for the NHS is supported by an overwhelming majority of the population – whether we voted Conservative or Labour, Leave or Remain. We’re all prepared to back the difficult decisions needed to safeguard the future of our National Health Service.
"The British people have spoken. The Prime Minister should now feel confident that she can give the NHS the sustainable funding plan it deserves."