The Liberal Democrats have laid out plans to provide an extra £8bn of spending on the NHS if they enter government after the next election.
The Lib Dems said they would increase the NHS’s funding by £8bn a year by 2020-21 in three stages. They would make permanent the coalition government’s extra £2bn a year – which was announced in the autumn statement – by 2015-16.
Nick Clegg, Lib Dem Party Leader, said the party would find another £1bn a year in real terms in 2016-17 by capping pension tax relief for the wealthiest (saving £500m), aligning dividend tax with income tax for those earning more than £150,000 (saving £400m) and scrapping the shares for rights scheme, which allows employees to forfeit certain employment rights in return for company shares (saving £100m).
Once the deficit has been reduced in 2017-18, Clegg said that the party would increase health spending in line with growth in the economy. Clegg said: "It’s a combination of change plus more money and the reason we can do that, and no other party will be able to do that, is firstly, as we explained at our party conference, is we are going to introduce some tax changes which only affect the very wealthiest, to put in an extra billion pounds into the NHS, and next year and the year after that."
Welcoming the announcement, Mike said: "It's vital that we support the NHS and all the fantastic work that they do day in day out. I'm pleased to support this commitment to NHS spending".