Lib Dems call for 'ring-fenced' NHS tax: 'People would be confident their money was going in the right direction', says MP

Ring-fenced NHS tax: 'People would be confident their money was going in the right direction', says MP Norman Lamb

Norman Lamb believes the NHS needs both funding and change

Monday, February 5, 2018

If the NHS was funded by a new tax, people would have confidence that their money is going in the right direction, MP Norman Lamb has suggested.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for a "ring-fenced" tax, which would only fund the NHS and social care. The party suggests it could replace National Insurance.

Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk, told Jamie East and Saira Khan: "For someone on average earnings it would be something like the cost of a couple of cups of coffee a week extra in tax.

If the amount taxed was created by an independent review of the NHS, he suggested, "then I think people would have the confidence that their money was going in the right direction."

But Saira argued it's not money the NHS needs but change. She pointed to developing countries "which don't have the money but they are delivering innovative forms of healthcare."

She believes this is because they look at "community health" and bring "volunteers into the system". She added that the NHS needs to try and prevent people having the need to go to hospital and have "less management, more people on the frontline."

But Lamb responded: "I totally agree with you I don’t think there's anything you've said that I disagree with."

He explained he thinks "there is a need for both more resources and change – it’s not one or the other."

The MP also said "we are massively underspending on the infrastructure and having modern, effective, out-of-hospital GP practices" because money reserved for this is just being used to "keep the system going".

Listen to the full interview above