The last few weeks and months have drawn considerable attention to the National Health Service. The NHS was a core part of the slogan ‘Stay at Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.” This slogan was an unusual one that suggested the NHS to be not just an institution that serves and indeed protects the public, but also an institution that the public itself must nourish and protect. Funding for the NHS has been a critical issue in the last several elections. It is with no surprise then that this increase in support for the NHS during this time extends to the financial realm.
In two polls in the United Kingdom, two weeks apart, we at Redfield & Wilton Strategies asked members of the public if they would support a pay-rise for the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers that make up the NHS. Both times, a vast majority of respondents said yes.
To those respondents who said yes, we asked a follow-up question. Would they be willing to pay more in tax to fund this rise in pay? Again, a strong majority said yes both times.
Of course, these questions do not necessarily take into account trade-offs in budgeting, but they do suggest that about half of the public would be willing to put its money where its mouth is on this issue.
This research was also published in Politico and the Sunday Express.