IEA: Hiking taxes to fund the NHS “won’t sustain the institution”


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Mark Littlewood responds to Labour general election announcement

Commenting on the Labour party’s pledge to invest £26 billion more in real terms to the National Health Service, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs Mark Littlewood said:

“The endless billions of pounds that are being pledged to the National Health Service in this election cycle are not costed, not responsible, and crucially are not going to cure the health system’s long-term ails.

“The NHS remains an international laggard in terms of health outcomes and has some of the highest rates of avoidable deaths in Western Europe. The structure of the NHS is fundamentally outdated, and no amount of money is going to get the health system to function and operate at the level patients deserve.

“The Labour party’s proposal to hike taxes to fund the NHS won’t sustain the institution, but simply will result in more and more resources being soaked up by the state, producing increasingly mediocre results.

“But it isn’t simply the Labour party that needs to rethink its stance on healthcare. All the major parties are pledging to spend more on the NHS when they should be looking to countries like Australia – which spends roughly similar amounts on healthcare as Britain – and adopt aspects of other systems that produce better patient results.”

Notes to editors:

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Further reading: Universal Healthcare without the NHS

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties