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Most people would give up tax cuts for greater spending on health services

Over half of people would forgo tax cuts for greater investment in health.

Image: Shutterstock/Ben Schonewille

MOST PEOPLE WOULD forgo tax cuts for greater investment in the health service, according to a new poll.

Over half of people in Ireland, 55%, favour greater spending in health and would give up the tax cuts being promised by almost all the main political parties in order to facilitate it.

The Claire Byrne Live/Amárach Research poll found that 34% would not forgo tax cuts while 11% don’t know.

Support for greater investment in health over tax cuts is stronger among women with 59% favouring it when compared to 53% of men.

The strongest support for greater investment in health is among the 45- to 54-year-old age category where 60% favour it over tax cuts.

The State spends approximately €13.1 billion annually on the health service.

When voluntary health care payments and out-of-pocket payments are taken into account health spending accounts for around 12.4% of gross national income, which is higher than the EU average.

The government’s failure to overhaul the health system over the past five years has been the source of repeated criticism from the opposition parties.

The Fine Gael-Labour coalition had pledged to begin the introduction of universal health insurance but the proposal has been long-fingered.

It has managed to introduce free GP care for under 6s and over 70s and has committed to introducing universal healthcare if re-elected.

Fianna Fáil has proposed to increase health spending while Sinn Féin has said it will radically overhaul the health system and introduce a single-tier public health system.

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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