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Media rife with rumours an NHS tax may be on the cards

Speaking on the ITV programme, Peston on Sunday, Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has admitted that a new approach is needed to funding the NHS.


He described the way the NHS has been funded in recent years as “feast or famine” and more than strongly hinted that any additional money for the health service would come through taxation.


“We are a taxpayer-funded system, so in the end if we are going to get more resources into the NHS and social care system, it will have to come through the tax system and also through growth in the economy.”


An “NHS tax” has already been suggested by some Conservative MPs.


This morning (March 26), it is widely reported that nearly 100 MPs have signed a letter to the Prime Minister, Theresa May, urging her to consider tax rises and calling for a new commission to look at funding issues.


The Guardian quotes Sarah Wollaston, MP for Totnes and Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee: “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.”


Signatories to the letter are reported to include Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader and Norman Lamb, the former Liberal Democrat Health Minister, prominent Labour MPs including Hilary Benn, Chairman of the Brexit Select Committee and Harriet Harman, Labour’s former Deputy Leader.


It is reported that tomorrow (Tuesday, March 27), the Prime Minister will face questions about the proposal by the Liaison Committee of Select Committee Chairs.