The Liberal Democrats have announced a plan which will plug funding gaps for the NHS and social care by putting a penny on income tax, in our first major manifesto commitment of the election campaign.
The tax would raise £6bn nationally and this means additional £50 million for Somerset alone, with £40 million for our NHS and £10 million for social care.
£1 billion of this extra money would be dedicated funding for mental health services.
This is the party’s flagship spending commitment and our first major policy announcement ahead of the election. Its not just throwing cash at the NHS and hoping for the best either. Our manifesto will also set out a ‘five-point recovery plan’ for NHS and social care services.
This is already proven to be a very popular policy, 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.
"Our fab Doctors and nurses are working flat out, but without proper funding and a plan our NHS is at real risk.
Right now in Somerset we are seeing patients lying on trolleys in hospital corridors, urgent operations being cancelled and the elderly being denied the care they need.
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 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."
Friday 12th May 2017