The Liberal Democrats have announced they would plug funding gaps for the NHS and social care by putting a penny on income tax, in their first major manifesto commitment of the election campaign. The tax would raise an additional £18m for West Cheshire CCG, with £12m going to the NHS and £6m to social care locally each year. This is the party’s flagship spending commitment and its first major policy announcement for the election. The Liberal Democrat manifesto will also set out a ‘five-point recovery plan’ for NHS and social care services. At least 70% of Brits would happily pay an extra 1p in every pound if that money was guaranteed to go to the NHS, an ITV poll found last October (link). Elizabeth Jewkes, Liberal Democrat M.P. candidate for Chester said:
"The Liberal Democrats are prepared to be honest with people and say that to secure the future of the NHS we will all need to chip in a little more. A penny in the pound would allow us to invest in improving local NHS services and fund social care, ensuring the elderly receive the care they deserve. We cannot continue asking the system to deliver more and more, without giving it the resources to do so."Elizabeth added
"Liberal Democrats will link the NHS and social care to ensure that valuable hospital beds are available for those in need of medical care and put in place longer term care where needed, for those leaving hospital."Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson and former health minister Norman Lamb said:
“The NHS was once the envy of the world and this pledge is the first step in restoring it to where it should be. A penny in the pound to save the NHS is money well spent in our view. But 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 in the long-term."