Should the NHS have its own tax? The NHS in England is under financial pressure. There is an intensifying debate about whether more money is needed and if so how much.
Among the options being suggested is a dedicated tax for the health service - transparent, easily understandable and less prone to political interference, or so the theory goes. So how realistic might it be?
The ring-fencing of tax for a specific purpose is known as hypothecation. One example, though not technically a tax, is the television licence fee, which is a levy specifically to fund the BBC.
The idea of a hypothecated tax for health has been knocked back and forth between economists for many years. BBC News