Sep 17th, 2014
I’d pay a penny more tax to save the NHS
By Rachel Oliver
There’s a battle raging within the Labour Party over whether or not to fund the NHS properly. NHS finances are in crisis, and with less money to go around, life-saving local services are left with no option but to cut back hours or worse, close down.
Some senior Labour figures are telling Ed Miliband to be bold to protect the NHS. They say the NHS needs a 1p tax rise so it has enough money to give us all top-class care. But Labour’s shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, is digging his heels in. He is scared of saying he’ll spend any more on our NHS than the Conservatives.
Ed Miliband will want to make an announcement at next week’s party conference. Will he go along with his cautious shadow chancellor? Or will he be brave and back a funding boost for our NHS? A big petition telling him that funding the NHS is a vote winner could help tip him the right way.
Please sign the petition now – and we can deliver it straight to Ed Miliband later this week:
We’ve had success persuading Labour to change their policies before. Thousands of 38 Degrees members wrote to Ed Miliband asking him to commit to scrapping the gagging law. That’s now Labour Party policy! So now let’s do the same to get Labour to promise more funds to stop the NHS cuts.
38 Degrees is independent of all political parties. We hold politicians of all stripes to account. We know that without a properly funded NHS, we’d all end up paying much more in premiums to the private health industry. Most people agree that a 1p rise to National Insurance is a bargain if it means the future of our NHS is protected from privatisation.
What Labour say now matters. With a general election less than a year away, Labour could soon be in charge and in a position to help or harm the NHS. And even if they’re not, we are way more likely to persuade the Lib Dems and Conservatives to stop NHS funding cuts if we’ve got Labour to commit to protecting our NHS.
The NHS is something we are all proud of. We all benefit from it, and we are all willing to pay for it to keep it our NHS.
Some 38 Degrees members have asked why this campaign focuses on raising taxes as opposed to collecting money in other ways like cracking down on tax dodging. National Insurance taxes are ring-fenced, this means the money raised could only go towards services – like our NHS.
We know that Ed Miliband is already considering making the 1p National Insurance rise Labour policy ahead of their party conference next week. So now is the moment to convince Labour that proper funding for our NHS is a vote winner. When the moment comes to crack down on tax dodging, 38 Degrees members will be there too – we won’t rest until our NHS has the money it needs to give everyone free access to healthcare.
Opinion polls show that most of the public would much prefer a small tax rise to NHS cuts or charges for services. So let’s persuade Labour it’s the right thing to do. Add your name now.