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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Christopher McKeon

Six in 10 back more NHS spending, even if it means higher taxes – poll

Three out of five Britons back spending more on the NHS even if it means their personal taxes would increase, a poll has found.

Pollster Ipsos found 61% of people would accept higher personal taxes if it meant the next chancellor put more money into the NHS, with only 16% saying they wanted tax cuts even if it meant less money for the NHS.

Tax has been one of the key issues of the General Election, with the Conservatives pledging to cut taxes and claiming Labour’s plans would see taxes rise to their highest level ever.

Meanwhile, Labour has promised not to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT and said it wants to see taxes on “working people” come down.

But the Ipsos poll, published on Saturday, suggests there is some appetite for raising taxes to fund public services.

On public services more broadly, some 40% said they would accept higher taxes if it meant more funding, up slightly from 38% in February.

Some 27% of people said they wanted to see tax cuts even if it meant less spending on public services, down from 33% four months ago.

The NHS – which Ipsos has consistently found to be among the top issues for voters – was the only service where a majority said they would be willing to pay more tax if it provided more funding, but 40% or more said the same about defence, policing and education.

Gideon Skinner, senior UK director of politics at Ipsos, said the results reflected “high levels of public concern over the state of public services”.

He said: “This is particularly high among Labour and Lib Dem voters, and among older people – although younger generations are less keen on increasing their personal tax bill.”

Some 46% of over-55s said they would pay more tax to fund higher spending, compared to 20% who preferred tax cuts.

But among those aged 18-34, only 34% wanted higher spending and 37% preferred tax cuts.

The Ipsos poll surveyed 1,131 British adults between June 7-10.

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