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Public would support tax rises to help fund NHS

More than half of people in England, Scotland and Wales would back an increase in National Insurance to help fund the NHS, new research suggests.

In a survey conducted by YouGov, 20,000 participants were asked whether they would support increasing the basic rate of National Insurance from 12% to 13% and using the money raised to increase NHS spending.

They were also asked whether they would support increasing the basic rate of income tax from 20% to 21% to help fund the NHS.

Of those asked, over 50% backed increasing National Insurance, with the strongest support coming from the South West and the lowest from London.

Support for increasing the basic rate of income tax was less strong, with 48% in agreement.

The NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare system, wrote to chancellor Philip Hammond in October urging him to revisit the spending plans for both the NHS and social care with the view that £4bn a year will be required just to sustain the NHS in England for each of the next two years.

Confederation chief executive Niall Dickson said: ‘It is up to government how it raises funds for public services, but these figures clearly show not only that the public across the UK supports more resources for the NHS, but that they are willing to pay more tax to bring that about.

‘The case for more money for both health and social care has been made and it is overwhelming.’