Today, we've have announced our first election manifesto commitment; we will invest an extra £6bn a year in our NHS & Social Care system.
This new funding will be paid for through an immediate 1p rise on all rates of income tax. This funding will be ring-fenced to be spent only on the NHS and social care and will provide vital services with the money they desperately need as part of a five point plan to put health and care services on a more sustainable footing long term.
This is our flagship spending commitment and our first major policy announcement for the election. Our manifesto will also set out a ‘five-point recovery plan’ for NHS and social care services.
As he made the announcement, Liberal Democrat Leader, Tim Farron, said: "Theresa May doesn't care about the NHS or social care. People are lying on trolleys in hospital corridors and she has done nothing. The truth is you can't have a strong NHS with a Hard Brexit. The Liberal Democrats will rescue the NHS and social care. We are prepared to be honest with people and say that we will all need to chip in a little more. It is not too late to change Britain's future. The Conservatives want absolute power, Labour are too weak to stand up to them, so we will. The Liberal Democrats will be the strong opposition Britain needs."
Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Norman Lamb, added: “The NHS was once the envy of the world and this plan is the first step in restoring it to where it should be. A penny on the pound to save the NHS is money well spent in our view. Simply providing more money on its own is not enough and that’s why this is just the first step in our plan to protect health and care services long-term. We also need to do much more to keep people fit and healthy and out of hospital, and that is why this new funding will be targeted to those areas that have the greatest impact on patient care such as social care, general practice, mental health and public health."
This our five-step plan for the NHS & Social Care:
- Introduce a 1% raise in income tax, generating £6bn a year
- Ring-fence ALL of this for the NHS and care, investing efficiently and effectively in social care, primary care, mental health and public health
- Introduce a dedicated Health and Care Tax, showing on people’s payslips exactly what we spend it on these vital services.
- Establish a cross-party health and care convention, consulting and working with patients, the public, NHS staff and care workers, to ensure our systems are sustainable and integrated and put on a sustainable financial footing in the long term.
- Introduce an Independent Office of Health and Care Funding to monitor health and care budgets, which would report every three years on how much money the system needs to flourish