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Voters say reform, not cash is more important for the NHS

A new poll commissioned by independent think tank Reform, has found that 58% of British voters believe that the NHS needs reform more than it needs extra money. Nonetheless, 59% of voters would be willing to pay higher income tax to fund the NHS. This is an increase from 33% in 2014. The report says that on average British voters would be willing to pay £5.25 extra a month, which is 0.4p in the pound of income tax.


In addition, 64% of voters believe that it should not matter whether hospitals or surgeries are run by the government, not-for-profit organisations or the private sector, provided that everyone has access to care. This is 2% higher than in 2014, despite the Populus poll of 2,106 people being conducted on the day Carillion went into liquidation.


The report also found that 74% of people agree or strongly agree with the statement that the government could make services better and reduce tax if the government reformed public services and cut waste. This is an increase of 2% since August 2014.


Andrew Haldenby, Reform’s Director, says: “This poll is a reality check for those who see very large spending increases as the solution to the problems of the NHS. The average voter seeks a measured increase in the NHS budget of around £2 billion a year, considerably below the demands made by leading figures in recent days. At the same time, a majority of the public sees reform as more important than budget increases. The poll points to limited increases in health spending combined with a major acceleration of current reform efforts.”