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Taxes will need to increase by £30bn a decade to cope with ageing population the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has said.
In order to keep up with the rising demand for healthcare, the NHS’ budget will need to increase from £140bn in 2020/21 to around £228bn by 2066/67.
The OBR suggests government ministers are likely to try and reduce the total ‘age-related spending’ by either raising taxes or by cutting spending in other areas over the upcoming years.
If no action is taken to raise taxes or reduce spending, the UK’s national debt will go from 82% of GDP to 234%.
A spokesman for the OBR said: “Evidence from the UK and other countries suggests that health spending will grow faster than the economy over time, thanks in part to the ageing population, but more importantly to non-demographic factors, such as technological advances and relatively low productivity growth.
“The fiscal challenge from rising healthcare costs – assuming that future governments spend more to accommodate them – is substantial over the longer term, but they would also make the current chancellor’s nearer-term goal of balancing the budget in the next Parliament harder to achieve.”
Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrats’ Health Spokesman, said: ”The government needs to confront this and level with the British people about the stark choices we face.
They need to work with others to sort this out, because there is a sense that we are sleepwalking to the precipice without any answer to this existential challenge that we face.”
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