GE2017: The LibDems’ plan to save our NHS & Social Care system

Manifesto 2017 NHS & Social CareThe Liberal Democrat manifesto is slowly being revealed. Signalling its priorities, the Lib Dems choose to announce their policy for the NHS & Social Care system first. This is both a central policy and the party ‘flagship spending commitment’.

Central to their plan for the NHS, the Lib Dems will introduce a 1% raise in income tax to generate £6bn a year. This money will be ring-fence for the NHS and Social Care and will come in addition to the Conservative funding increase of £8bn for the health service and £2bn for social care, promised by 2020.

Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Health however, explained: “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."

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 Liberal Democrat five-step plan for the NHS & Social Care is:

1 - Introduce a 1% raise in income tax, generating £6bn a year

2 - Ring-fence ALL of this for the NHS and care, investing efficiently and effectively in social care, primary care, mental health and public health

3 - Consolidate all health and care taxes into a single, dedicated Health and Care Tax, showing on people’s payslips exactly what we spend it on

4 - 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

5 - Introduce an independent agency to monitor health and care budgets, which would report every three years on how much money the system needs to flourish

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95 per cent of the revenue coming from the better off half of households and half from the top 10 per cent of households.” – Torsten Bell

The Resolution Foundation’s review of the Lib Dem NHS funding plan states:

"First, this policy would raise substantial funds – in line with the Lib Dems costing of £6 billion a year by 2019-20. […]

"Second, this is a brave tax rise in the sense that it is broad based, putting up taxes for 30 million people. […] However, it should be noted that 21 per cent would still be a lower basic rate than in 2007-08 (when it was 22 per cent) or earlier.  

"Third, although a lot of people would be affected by this tax rise, like most increases in income tax it would be highly progressive. The rich would pay much, much more with 95 per cent of the revenue coming from the better off half of households and half from the top 10 per cent of households. A typical earner in 2019-20 on £25,000 would pay £129 more tax, while someone on £100k would pay £879 more.”