Jeremy Hunt calls for 1p tax hike which could raise £5billion for cash-strapped NHS


Jeremy Hunt called for a new NHS tax – as nearly 100 MPs urged the PM to launch an inquiry into the future funding of the health service. The Health Secretary threatened a damaging rift with the Treasury by saying he believed the public would back a new tax where cash is funnelled directly to the Department for Health.

A 1p levy would raise £5 billion for the cash-strapped NHS. Mr Hunt also demanded the Treasury break with tradition and consider NHS funding over a 10-year period in its upcoming spending review. He said: “It is beyond dispute that with a million more over-75s in 10 years’ time, the NHS and social care system are going to need more money.

“The public are very clear that for that specific issue they are willing to pay more tax, but want to know that every penny is going to be spent wisely.”

The call came as 98 MPs from the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems joined forces to urge Theresa May to launch a cross-party Parliamentary Commission to study future funding for the NHS and Social Care. In a push led by Health Committee chair and Tory backbencher Sarah Wollaston, the 98 MPs said a “hypothecated” tax – where funds bypass the Treasury and go straight to the NHS – should be considered.

They also want the inquiry to study funding needs all the way through to 2035. The letter – signed by influential backers such as Labour’s Liz Kendall and Nick Boles – said a cross-party approach would “help break a political deadlock”.

Challenged about his comments to the Mail on Sunday by ITV Mr Hunt, said it was “premature” to talk about whether tax would happen.


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