Philip Hammond to 'make wealthiest foot largest share of the bill' for NHS funding boost
Philip Hammond will reportedly unveil plans to hit the wealthiest the hardest in order to fund Theresa May’s promised £20bn boost over four years for the NHS.
Ministers have yet to outline how they will pay for the 3.4% increase in spending on the health service, but have conceded that taxes will need to go up.
On Monday Mrs May conceded the public would pay more, but promised it would be done in a "fair and balanced" way.
And the Sun says the Chancellor has struck an agreement with the Prime Minister that poorer workers will be protected as much as possible.
One Treasury figure said: “No10 and No11 are aligned on that, so that’s where the substantial share of the tax rises will come from.”
A senior Government source added: “As the PM said, we will all contribute a bit more, but according to our means.
“That has been the Conservative approach to tax for the last eight years.”
The paper adds that Treasury figures have said raising the upper earnings limit on National Insurance Contributions will also be considered.
It is understood the Chancellor wants to raise the £20bn sum from £10bn in tax rises, with the rest coming from extra borrowing.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies’ Carl Emmerson said while “economically possible” to raise the money needed entirely from higher rate taxpayers, it would not be “politically pain free”.
He said: “There are 4.28 million higher-rate taxpayers, so if you are trying to raise £10bn from this group alone then would each need to pay an extra £2,150 per year.”
Meanwhile the Guardian reports that Philip Hammond reportedly demanded the outspoken head of the NHS guarantee he would give his public backing for the health service funding increase before backing the rise.
Simon Stevens last year said Theresa May’s claim the NHS was getting more than the minimum £8bn by 2020 it asked for was “stretching it”, while dismissing a £2.6bn cash boost in Mr Hammond’s budget as not enough.
However on Sunday, Mr Stevens said the 3.4% increase meant the health service could “now face the next five years with renewed certainty”.
A source told the paper: “The deal was explicitly done on the basis that Stevens was required to support it.”
“The chancellor said that if he was going to be pushed up [to a 3.4% increase] there would need to be a warm and effusive welcome for it. Stevens was in the room at the time Hammond said that”.