- Party announces flagship spending commitment guaranteeing millions for a health system on its knees.
- John Leech: "I am prepared to be honest with people and say that in order to secure the future of the NHS we need to pay a bit more."
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 £62m for Manchester, with £44m for the NHS and £18m for social care each year.
This is the party’s flagship spending commitment and its first major policy announcement for the 2017 general 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.
John Leech, former Liberal Democrat MP and Manchester Withington candidate, said:
"Right now in Manchester, we are seeing patients lying on trolleys in hospital corridors, urgent operations being cancelled and the elderly being denied the care they need.
"I am prepared to be honest with people and say that in order to secure the future of the NHS we need to pay a bit more.
"Just 1p would allow us to dramatically improve local NHS services and ensure the elderly and most vulnerable receive the care they deserve.
"This heartless Conservative government along with a flimsy Labour opposition have left our health and care services chronically underfunded.
"Whilst Manchester's Labour council goes ahead with pay rises of up to 60% for town hall bosses, they are shutting down countless local services including the desperately needed Brian Hore Unit for recovering alcoholics, despite a local campaign against.
"We cannot continue like this. We need to stop recklessly wasting money and asking the system to deliver more and more, without giving it the resources to do so."
“The NHS was once the envy of the world and this pledge is the first step in restoring it to where it should be."