Lib Dems penny for NHS would raise £25m extra for Rochdale
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 £23m for Rochdale, with £18m for the NHS and £7m 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.
Councillor Andy Kelly, Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Rochdale said: "Right now in Rochdale we are seeing patients lying on trolleys in hospital corridors, urgent operations being cancelled and the elderly being denied the care they need. In our Town, only the Liberal Democrats campaigned against the downsizing of Rochdale Infirmary under the last Labour Government. Our Borough lost a number of services including A and E and maternity services under Labour's watch.
"In Rochdale, 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. The future of our NHS is likely to be one of the key election issues and I want to make it clear that Labour in Rochdale are no friends of universal, free healthcare.
"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."