IFS warns tax rises will be needed in order to sustain health service

24 May 2018

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned that the NHS will require tax rises in order to maintain the level of service it currently supplies.

In a recently published report, the IFS stated that, with an ‘ageing population’ and an increasing pay and drugs bill, individuals’ reliance on the health service will ‘only continue to grow’.

In order to sustain the NHS and fund increases in health spending, taxes would need to rise by between 1.6% and 2.6% – equivalent to between £1,200 and £2,000 per household, said the IFS.

It also revealed that funding increases of 4% per year will be required over the medium term to ‘secure modest improvements in NHS services’.

Commenting on the issue, Paul Johnson, Director of the IFS, said: ‘If we are to have a health and social care system which meets our needs and aspirations, we will have to pay a lot more for it over the next 15 years. This time we won’t be able to rely on cutting spending elsewhere – we will have to pay more in tax.

‘But it is a choice: higher taxes and a health and social care system which meets our expectations and improves over time, or taxes at current levels and a more constrained health service delivering less than we have become accustomed to.’

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