Liberal Democrats have set out plans to safeguard the NHS for the future.
NHS funding will increased by at least £8bn per year in real terms by
The Liberal Democrats are the first party to present a plan to meet the
financial needs of the NHS as set out by Simon Stevens, the Chief
Executive of NHS England, in his Five Year Forward View.
To achieve this boost in funding by 2020/21, the Liberal Democrats will do
1) We will baseline into the budget of the NHS, the additional £2bn that
Liberal Democrats secured in the Autumn Statement for 2015/16.
2) In addition to this funding, we will invest a further £1bn in real
terms in 2016/17, as we set out at our Autumn Conference. This will be
paid for by capping pensions tax relief for the richest pensioners
(saving £500m), aligning dividend tax with income tax for those earning more
than £150,000 (saving £400m) and scrapping the Conservative shares for
rights scheme (saving £100m).
3) Once we have finished the job of tackling the deficit in 2017/18, we
will increase health spending in line with growth in the economy.
As well as increasing NHS funding, the Liberal Democrats will also
commission a non-partisan fundamental review of NHS and social care
finances in 2015 - before the next spending review - in order to assess the
pressures on NHS budgets.
We will focus extra funding on two key priorities that will help reduce
cost pressures in other areas, to help NHS funding remain sustainable.
These priorities are:
1) Mental health - we want to end the discrimination against mental health
and have pledged £500m extra a year to support this from 2015/16 onwards.
2) Prevention - keeping people healthier for longer, supporting people
to stay as healthy as possible, and to receive care closer to home.
The Liberal Democrats are the only party to set out a credible road map
for how we will safeguard the NHS over the next parliament.
Neither Labour nor the Tories have a credible response to the funding
challenges that the NHS faces.
Labour have pledged £2.5bn only to be fully introduced by the third year
of the next parliament and have not committed to any additional real term
increases beyond that, while the Conservatives have made no specific real
terms funding commitments.
Only the Liberal Democrats are committed to increasing NHS funding by
£8bn in real terms by 2020.