Vince Cable backs new NHS and social care tax to replace National Insurance
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has backed proposals for a new NHS and social care tax that would replace National Insurance.
Under the plans the cash raised would be ringfenced solely to provide health and social care services.
The measures are set out in a new report on healthcare funding in England entitled Health and Social Care: Delivering a Secure Funding Future, which was commissioned by the Liberal Democrats.
It also recommends creating an Office for Budget Responsibility for Health and reinstating the cap on the costs of adult social care.
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said: “The health and care budget should be financed by an earmarked tax, which could replace national insurance.
“Many of those previously strongly opposed now accept that, in the case of the NHS, there is a strong argument for a form of ringfenced tax.”
It comes as the Guardian reports hospitals have been cancelling urgent surgery for patients with cancer, heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses.
The postponements are understood to have gone ahead despite NHS bosses’ orders not to delay such operations.
Theresa May was forced to apologise to patients in January after thousands of pre-planned procedures were postponed as the NHS struggled to cope with winter pressures.
Mr Cable said: “We must never again be in a position whereby funding is so short that more than 50,000 operations have had to be postponed over the course of a single month.”