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Public prepared to pay more tax for a better NHS, according to post-election consumer poll launched at Confed17

Jun 15, 2017

A new poll of more than 2,000 British members of the public  reveals the majority would be happy to pay more tax to help fund the NHS.

Two thirds (66%) of the people surveyed say they would be happy to pay more tax if it means that the quality of the NHS improves, according to the post-general election polling commissioned by PwC and launched at the Confed17 in Liverpool. The findings vary by age with 76% of the 65+ age group agreeing, versus 61% of those aged 18-24 and 56% of those aged 35-44 - perhaps unsurprising given the aging population.

This is the fourth poll that PwC has commissioned over the past six months to try to bring the voice of patients to decision makers and shapers within the NHS.

The financial and demand pressures facing the health service are set to continue and present ongoing challenges for the government. The research, conducted immediately after the general election, shows what the general public believe the Government should be prioritising.

Charging for services

The public are prepared to contemplate options beyond taxation to invest in health services.  When thinking about alternative options to fund the NHS, charging for missed appointments is seen as the most acceptable with (62%) prepared to see this considered.

There is less support for charging for other health services, in particular, almost three quarters (73%) of the public say that it should not be possible for anyone to pay for a GP appointment to get a faster service.

NHS Funding

When considering the priority for NHS funding, 53% of patients feel that hiring more staff should be the focus rather than paying existing staff more. In addition, just over half (53%) of the public prioritise funding for hospitals over GP surgeries.

Quentin Cole, PwC Health leader at PwC, said:

“Our polling shows that the general public are willing to invest in the NHS to improve their experience by paying more tax.

“However, a cash injection will not solve the NHS’ problems alone. Today’s system was designed to deal with yesterday’s problems. Instead of just looking for quick solutions, the system itself needs to be reshaped to deliver improved outcomes, optimise resources and empower patients.


Notes to Editors


  • Polling was commissioned by PwC and conducted by BritainThinks

  • Results are based on an online omnibus sample of 2,034 adults living in Great Britain aged 18+

  • Fieldwork dates: 9th-11th June 2017

  • Quotas are set on age, gender, Socio-Economic Grade (SEG) & region

  • The data is weighted to the National Readership Survey

About BritainThinks

BritainThinks is an international insight and strategy consultancy.

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