More than Half (57%) of British People Prepared to Pay More Tax to Better Fund the NHS
A new Survation poll, which focused on respondents’ attitudes towards funding of the NHS, shows that the majority of people in the UK are prepared to pay more in order to be able to access NHS services. The poll of 1,059 UK residents aged 18+ was conducted in January on behalf of Daily Mirror.
- 73% of respondents said they were prepared to pay an extra £1 a week to be able to use the NHS
- A majority (63%) of respondents said they would be prepared to have income tax rates rise by 1% if the money went towards the NHS
- Over half of respondents (52%) said they would be prepared to pay an extra £2 a week to be able to use the NHS
People willing to pay more to use the NHS
When asked about their general opinion, 57% of people agreed with the statement “I would be prepared to pay more tax to better fund the NHS”, compared to 30% who said they would not, and 12% who said they don’t know. We see an increase from a year ago, where a poll conducted by Survation showed that just 44% of respondents said they would be prepared to pay more income tax to better fund the NHS, compared to 46% who would not.
Among respondents who voted Labour in the 2017 General election, 71% were willing to pay more tax to fund the NHS and just under half (48%) of Conservative voters were willing to pay more.
When told that if everyone paid an extra £1 a week to use the NHS an estimated £2.75bn a year would be generated for the NHS, about three quarters (73%) of respondents said they would be prepared to pay an extra £1 a week, compared to 22% who said they would not, and 5% who said they don’t know.
Over half (52%) of respondents said they would be prepared to pay an extra £2 a week, compared to 38% who said they would not, and 10% who said they don’t know. Respondents were less willing to pay more than £2 a week, with only 30% prepared to pay £5 a week and just 24% prepared to pay £10 a week.
A majority (63%) of respondents said they would be prepared to see income tax rates increase by 1% if the money went toward the NHS. This would mean the average person in the UK, who earns £27,600 p.a., would pay around £3.50 more in tax each week.
Taxation the most popular way to fund the NHS
Most (50%) respondents prefer funding the NHS through taxation over other methods such as charging for access to the NHS (supported by 17%) or moving to an insurance model where individuals take out health insurance policies (supported by 16%), while 18% said they don’t know the best way to fund the NHS.
The poll also asked respondents whether they think that certain procedures should continue to be free under the NHS. Respondents were in favor of keeping several procedures free, with 84% supporting free cataract operations and 84% supporting free hip and knee replacement surgeries. There is less support for other procedures with just 14% who said cosmetic surgery should be free and 31% who said obesity surgery should be free.
Survation, on behalf of Daily Mirror, interviewed 1,059 residents in the UK between 26th – 29th January 2018. Full tables are available here.