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Lib Dems penny for NHS would raise £47m extra for Bedfordshire

May 16, 2017 4:04 PM

Stephen Rutherford at Bedford HospitalThe 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 £47 million each year across the Bedford and Central Bedfordshire areas. This would provide £30 million of extra funding for the Bedfordshire NHS group, £7 million for social care in Bedford Borough and £10 million for social care in Central Beds.

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.

Stephen Rutherford said:

"This is serious money to deal with a serious problem. Right now in our area we are seeing a threatened downgrade of Bedford Hospital, 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. It would allow hospital managers to concentrate on improving the hospital rather than cutting services."

"This Conservative government has left our health and care services chronically underfunded - and while the crisis gets worse Thersa May's government doesn't seem to care. 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."