Lib Dems consider "NHS tax"

The Observer has reported that the Liberal Democrats are examining the possibility of an NHS tax to address the projected funding gap of £30 billion over the next five years, amid concern that efficiency measures alone will not be able to address growing demand for services. The idea is also favoured by senior figures in the Labour Party and could possibly serve as a point of agreement in the event of a future coalition Government between the two. Former and current Liberal Democrat Health Ministers Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb are both said to be favouring this option. Conservative Peer Lord Finkelstein and Labour MP Frank Field have also expressed their support for such a measure, with the latter lobbying the labour Party on the issue, although Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham is understood not to be in favour of such a tax.