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27.03.18

Hunt hints at backing ‘NHS levy’ to buoy struggling finances

Health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt has this week suggested plans for a 1p income tax levy to raise money for the NHS would be supported by the public.

The health and social care secretary told the Mail on Sunday that it was: “vital to be open to innovative models of taxation.” In the past, policies like a 1p income tax hike that would be ring-fenced for health and social care.

A 1p levy would raise around £5bn for the struggling NHS, as increasingly organisations find themselves putting long-term funding into plugging short-term funding gaps.

He continued to say that he had not made up his mind on the tax, saying: “The British people say, 'I don't mind more money going to the NHS but I want to know it is for the NHS and won't be wasted."'

The policy, if implemented, could butt heads with chancellor Philip Hammond as the revenue would bypass the Treasury.

Hunt went on to tell the Mail on Sunday: “It is beyond dispute that with a million more over-75s in 10 years' time, the NHS and social care system are going to need more money.

“The public are very clear that for that specific issue they are willing to pay more tax but want to know that every penny is going to be spent wisely."

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times also reported that Theresa May is planning a package to inject £4bn into the NHS this summer to coincide with the health service’s 70th birthday.

Elsewhere, Jeremy Hunt has also announced plans today to train 3,000 midwives and maternity support staff over the next four years.

Top image: Joe Giddens PA Archive

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