Thank you for contacting me about tax rises to fund the NHS.
The NHS is a vital public service, providing healthcare to those who need it, free at the point of use, regardless of background or income.
How to fund the NHS in the long-term is one of the most pressing and potent political issues facing the country. Demand for the NHS only continues to rise, and as the population ages, there are a growing number of widespread chronic conditions which will be increasingly expensive and challenging to address.
The correct level of funding is crucial to the success and productivity of our NHS and the Government’s financial commitment must keep pace with the growing pressures the service is facing.
I welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement earlier this year that NHS funding will grow on average by 3.4 per cent in real terms through to 2023/24, which will provide NHS England with over £20 billion more, in real terms, for its annual budget. Despite difficult financial circumstances, NHS investment has increased every year since 2010, and this new investment will help to secure the NHS for the future.
It is important that increased funding in the NHS is accompanied by a long-term strategy to facilitate growth and enhance performance. Alongside the announced funding, the NHS is expected to come up with a ten year plan to demonstrate how it will continue to improve patient care, offer world-class services, and increase productivity, which is so important in a taxpayer funded healthcare system. This will be further supported by a £10 billion programme of capital investment, to help the NHS build world-class infrastructure, as well as additional support for social care services.
The Chancellor was clear in the recent Autumn Budget that ending austerity will not involve increasing people's tax bills. With the Office for Budget Responsibility significantly revising up growth figures and expected tax receipts over the coming years the Chancellor has confirmed tax rises will not be necessary to pay for the increased NHS budget.
I will continue to monitor local services closely moving forward and would like to thank you for getting in touch.
View Waveney in a larger map