A senior member of the cabinet has said that a hypothecated tax – set aside specifically for the health service – would be a relatively voter-friendly way of raising extra cash for the NHS, according to reports today.
Cabinet pressure to find a solution follows Mr Blair’s pledge to raise NHS spending up to the level of the European average, a rise of more than £9bn in real terms over five years.
The government has already set a precedent for hypothecation with the windfall tax for helping unemployed people and into work.
Last November chancellor Gordon Brown also promised that real-term increases in road fuel duties would be spent on transport and increases in cigarette taxes would be spent on health.
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