MPs call for health and social care tax rise

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MPs have called on the Government set up a commission to look into raising money for the NHS and social care.

The 98 letter signatories warn that the NHS and social care are “overstretched, poorly integrated and no longer able to keep pace with rising demand and the cost pressures of new drugs and technologies”, The Guardian reported.

Sarah Wollaston, MP for Totnes and chair of the health and social care committee, said: “We call on the Government to act with urgency and to take a whole system approach to the funding of the NHS, social care and public health. On behalf of all those who rely on services, we need to break down the political barriers and to agree a way forward.”

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Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt, meanwhile, told the Mail on Sunday that a ring-fenced tax to provide extra funds for the NHS and social care has the support of the public.

Mr Hunt said: “It is beyond dispute that with a million more over-75s in ten 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.”

A 1p rise in income tax could raise around £5bn to help fund the health and care system.

Mr Hunt admitted the Government had got its “fingers burned” on social care election, adding a ring-fenced tax for health and social could meet some resistance within the Treasury.

“The Treasury do not like it because it takes it out of their hands,” he said.

 

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