I think we need three debates, not one. First, we need a debate about how an extra £10 billion or £12 billion would make a big difference to waiting lists in the NHS; I would like to know the plan for that. Secondly, we need a debate about how we transition the money from health to social care and about what the social care plan looks like. Thirdly, we need an economic policy debate about whether we actually need to raise £12 billion in tax and, if so, whether this is the right tax to raise it with.
I urge the Government, in their own interest, to unpackage all that, at least in their own remarks, and understand that we need to see the cases for their propositions. If I go to a shop, I do not present it with some money and go away being told that in a month’s time I will get a brochure about what I might have bought; I expect to get the goods. Call me old-fashioned, but I would like to see what the goods will be. Would I like waiting lists down? You bet. Would I like people in my constituency to have access to better public social care? You bet, but I want to know that I will get that, and I want to know why the Government think that they need a tax.