Delivering his pre-Budget speech this morning, John McDonnell outlined his support for a hypothecated NHS tax to “restore trust” in taxation and government spending:
“Hypothecation, allocating taxes raised to specific purposes, can absolutely make clear where tax money is being spent. It can help restore the trust and confidence in taxation and government spending that has otherwise started to break down… It needs a clear commitment, over the long term, that specific taxes will be used for specific purposes, and that this spending will be properly monitored.”
Yet just six weeks ago Jeremy Corbyn seemed to say a hypothecated NHS was a bad idea. Speaking on Marr on 15 January, Jez said:
“I am not one that’s generally in favour of hypothecated taxation… Whether we’d have a specific tax I doubt, but I’m prepared to consider it and discuss it as I’m sure all my colleagues are. But if you go down the road of hypothecated taxation then you’re going to do hypothecated taxation for every other service.”
Well, which is it?