Winter crisis: 46% would pay “substantially higher” taxes to fund NHS

A new YouGov Live poll indicates that a significant proportion of voters would opt to fund the NHS with higher taxes.

The YouGov Live poll, conducted 11th January and weighted to ensure a representative sample, indicates that almost half of Brits would choose to pay more taxes to keep the NHS delivering the services it currently provides.

In contrast, just 23% said they would like to see taxes kept at their current levels and a cut in services or waiting times.

A further 31% said they did not know.

Unsurprisingly, the issue was split along party lines with 60% of Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP voters all saying they would pay more taxes to fund the NHS.

37% of Conservative voters agreed with this, which, although lower than the other parties, is a higher proportion than the 31% who disagreed.

Furthermore, 40% of UKIP voters also supported paying more taxes to fund the NHS.

The poll is purely hypothetical and turns the future of the NHS into a simple binary choice between the same services and more tax versus the same taxes and a smaller NHS. The reality is much more complex. Nonetheless, the finding shows that there is political will from the public to pay “substantially higher taxes” to save the NHS.

The poll comes amid a tough winter for the NHS, according to the BBC, and talk of the introduction of hypothecated taxes to fund the health-service, as reported by the Guardian.

Talk of an NHS crisis has gone on for years, if not decades, but how bad will things get for drastic changes to be made?