Lib Dems vow to put NHS and healthcare at heart of manifesto


The Liberal Democrats will launch their manifesto with a £9bn pledge to fix the health and care system.

The policy, which will be revealed by party leader Sir Ed Davey on Monday, includes plans to recruit 8,000 more GPs, boost cancer survival rates and introduce free personal care for the elderly and the disabled.

The total cost would be an extra £9.4bn a year, to be funded in part by reforming capital gains tax. CGT is paid on profits from the sale of assets such as shares or property and is set lower than the rate of income tax.

It is often argued this disparity means wealthy people, who often earn more from assets than from income, are able to pay less tax.

The Lib Dem manifesto will also promise not to increase income tax, VAT or national insurance.

Sir Ed Davey, Lib Dem leader. Pic: PA
Sir Ed Davey, Lib Dem leader. Pic: PA

Speaking to Sky News, Sir Ed Davey said: “This is the healthcare election for the Liberal Democrats. We’ve been listening to people around the country, and top of their concerns in so many areas is the health service. So we have absolutely made the NHS and care at the heart of our manifesto.”

Other pledges set to be announced on Monday include:

• A plan to tackle the sewage crisis, ban bonuses for water company CEOs, and put environmental experts on company boards.
• A Burglary Response Guarantee to ensure every burglary is attended by a police officer.
• Free school meals for 900,000 more children living in poverty, and an ambition to extend this to all primary school children whenever the public finances allow.

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However, some of the Liberal Democrats’ plans have already been greeted with scepticism, such as their promise to fund free school meals with a tax on share buybacks.

Read more from Sky News:
Labour pledges 100,000 extra nursery places
Tories promise 8,000 extra police
Tory chairman dodges questions

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The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said far from bringing in £1.4bn as the party claims, they would be “surprised… if it raised much revenue”.

On the plans for free personal care, organisations such as Age UK and the Royal College of Nursing said they were supportive, but raised concerns that there simply would not be enough staff to implement them.

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