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 £126.6million for Hertfordshire, with £82million for the NHS and £44.6million for social care each year.
This is the party’s flagship spending commitment and its first major policy announcement for the election. The Liberal Democrats manifesto will also set out a ‘five-point recovery plan’ for NHS and social care services in their manifesto.
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).
Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Welwyn Hatfield Nigel Quinton said:
“Having attended today my first briefing as a new County Councillor it is clear just how much the additional funding for social care especially is needed. Right now in Hertfordshire we are seeing urgent operations being cancelled and the elderly being denied the care they need, and beds being blocked due to the lack of community and social care available.
The Liberal Demo crats are prepared to be honest with people and say that to secure the future of the NHS we will all, especially those who can afford it most, need to chip in a little more.
“A penny in the pound would allow us to invest in improving local NHS services and ensuring the elderly receive the care they deserve.
“This Conservative government has left our health and care services chronically underfunded – and while the crisis gets worse they just don’t seem to care.
“We cannot continue asking the system to deliver more and more, without giving it the resources to do so.”
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.”