Will government listen to case for tax increases to support NHS?
Taxes must rise to pay for the increases in funding needed by the NHS to maintain or improve services over the next 15 years.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies says an ageing population, increased multi-morbidities and a growing drugs bill are fuelling rising demands on the NHS.
It says: ‘Just to keep the NHS providing the level of service it does today will require us to increase spending by an average 3.3% a year for the next 15 years — with slightly bigger increases in the short run to address immediate funding problems. This would mean health spending rising faster than national income and would take health spending from 7.3% of national income today to 8.9% of national income by 2033/34.’
It adds: ‘To secure some modest improvements in NHS services, funding increases of nearer 4% a year would be required over the medium term, with 5% annual increases in the short run.’
Adult social care spending would also need to increase by 3.9% a year over the next 15 years.
‘If we choose to meet these pressures, we would almost certainly need to increase taxes,’ it says.
Institute for Fiscal Studies: Securing the future: funding health and social care to the 2030s — summary