William Eichler 06 December 2019

Majority of people support tax rises to solve social care crisis

Majority of people support tax rises to solve social care crisis image

Two thirds of people want tax increases to pay for health and social care, a new poll has revealed.

A survey conducted by Ipsos MORI for the Health Foundation indicates that there is increasing public support for paying more tax to maintain and improve health and social care.

The survey of nearly 2,000 people shows that over two thirds (67%) favour an increase in taxes to maintain current levels of NHS care, up from 64% in May 2017 and 59% in March 2015.

Only 13% of those polled think spending on other services should be reduced to maintain current levels of NHS care.

In addition, 62% say that if the government decided to increase spending on social care, this should be funded through some form of tax increase, up from 51% in May 2018.

Only 11% think funding increases for social care should come from cuts to other services.

According to the Ipsos MORI survey, three in five (62%) people say it is unacceptable to have to use the value of one’s home to pay for care, while 21% say it is acceptable.

Nearly half (46%) think it is unfair that people are means-tested to receive social care, while 37% think means-testing is fair.

‘The public report unwavering support for the NHS and growing dissatisfaction with the unfairness of the social care system in England,’ said Jennifer Dixon, chief executive of the Health Foundation.

‘People recognise that high-quality health and social care comes with a price tag and there is growing preference for tax increases as the best way to meet that cost rather than cutting back other services.

‘While the three main parties’ funding pledges for the NHS and social care mean big differences in what the public can expect from these services over the next 5 years, investment in the NHS can’t continue to be at the expense of other public services, not least because these also affect our health.’

‘People are clearly now recognising the deep unfairness in how social care support for older people works and are increasingly dissatisfied,’ Dr. Dixon continued.

‘In stark contrast to the NHS, publicly funded social care is only provided free to those with the greatest need and lowest means, leaving too many others no choice but to sell their homes to pay for care.

‘The public is strongly against this – which is yet another warning that the issue can no longer be dodged as previous governments have done. A new government should do the right thing and act fast.’

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