‘Substantial tax rises’ needed to meet growing health and social care pressures, says IFS

Substantial tax rises will be required to meet growing pressure on health and social care services over the next 15 years, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has said.

A new report published in partnership with The Health Foundation said adult social care spending is likely to have to rise by 3.9% a year over the next 15 years, taking an extra 0.4% of national income.

Paul Johnson, director of IFS and co-author of the report, said: “We are finally coming face to face with one of the biggest choices in a generation. If we are to have a health and social care system which meets our needs and aspirations, we will have to pay a lot more for it over the next 15 years.

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“This time we won’t be able to rely on cutting spending elsewhere – we will have to pay more in tax. But it is a choice: higher taxes and a health and social care system which meets our expectations and improves over time, or taxes at current levels and a more constrained health service delivering less than we have become accustomed to.”

Funding the projected increases in health and social care spending through the tax system is projected to require a rise of between 1.6% and 2.6% of GDP, or between £34bn and £56bn, equivalent to £1,200 to £2,000 per household.

 

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