We can prove that this is wrong very easily:
People want to pay more in tax to fund hospitals, Jeremy Hunt said on Thursday night in a direct challenge to Philip Hammond, the Chancellor.
The Health Secretary said people “recognise that through the tax system we will end up having to contribute more” to support the National Health Service.
He added that “there is a willingness to do that, providing they can see the money going to the NHS, providing they can see that it's not being wasted”.
If people wish to pay more taxes to fund the NHS then where are those more taxes funding the NHS?
As one of us pointed out over a decade ago, after burrowing into the Treasury to get the information, a reasonable guide to the number of people who voluntarily pay more tax each year is a handful. Most of whom are dead. Subsequent checks on the same cheques have shown the situation doesn't change much over time.
We can be more expansive in our definition of course and look at those who donate to, or volunteer in, the NHS itself or a specific hospital. Which is great, we're all in favour. All of us should indeed be deploying our resources in the manner which gains us the greatest utility.
But it is still true that there is no pent up desire to pay more tax in order to fund the NHS. Those who wish to do so are already doing exactly that and we can measure, accurately, how much they are doing so.
Now, there's a very much larger number of people who want other people to pay more tax to fund the NHS. But that's a rather different statement, isn't it Mr. Hunt?