David Taylor and Laura Pitel report in The Times April 21st 2014: Miliband urged to fund care of the elderly with higher tax Neither Labour, Conservative or any other party is discussing philosophy, or rationing. Every doctor and manager I have spoken to feel this is an absolute requirement to change the culture, and to counter the increasing cynicism. The main way to change culture would be for Mr Cameron and Mr Miliband and Mr Clegg, all to endorse public content exit interviews by health service staff (preferably available for all to hear on NHSreality) and to licence their CEOs and Chairmen to lead the way.
The head of the left’s most influential think-tank has urged Ed Miliband to increase national insurance to pay for the growing cost of elderly care.
Labour denied a report that it was considering a 1 per cent increase on national insurance to plug a £30 billion “black hole” in NHS funding.
Writing in The Times today, Nick Pearce (A tax rise can be popular if it is used to save the NHS), director of the Institute for Public Policy Research, said that while the public was sceptical of tax increases in general it supported those that financed the NHS. He said that a combination of a health tax and the creation of community services that helped to keep the elderly out of hospital could be “one of the big ideas that the next election needs”….
…. Nick Pearce ends his leader:
“……A more certain way of boosting revenue would be a dedicated NHS tax or national insurance increase. A 1 per cent increase in one of the NI rates could bring in about £4 billion each year and if the proceeds were dedicated to the NHS it could be popular. This funding could be uprated every decade, to meet the predicted pressures on the NHS.
That is the view of the Labour backbencher Frank Field, who has urged his party’s policy review to embrace the idea. Ed Miliband will be wary of promising any tax increases for ordinary voters whose living standards are still being squeezed. But if the public is sceptical about tax increases in general, it is supportive of those used to finance the NHS.
Any “NHS tax” should be introduced alongside the increased integration of local health and social care service budgets. It makes little sense to protect headline NHS spending while squeezing local government budgets that fund care of the elderly. Nor can the NHS expect immunity from further productivity drives. But an NHS tax plus community-based services that prevent more elderly people needing hospital care might be one of the big ideas that the next election needs.”