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Lib Dems promise £1bn investment in NHS

Funding commitment and easier access to GPs pledge

Adrian O'Dowd

Monday, 06 October 2014

Liberal Democrats have agreed to plans to commit a £1 billion real term investment in the NHS if they are elected at the next general election.

Party members at their annual conference this week in Glasgow voted overwhelmingly yesterday for the Public Services Policy Motion to secure the plan, which would see the health service receive the extra £1 billion of real term funding in 2016-17 and 2017-18.

The motion also promised that the Liberal Democrats would ensure easier access to GPs, through:

  • expanding evening and weekend opening
  • more use of communication by modern technology when a face to face appointment was not necessary
  • greater use of federations of GP practices to provide better access to care, closer to home, including out of hours
  • making full use of the potential of pharmacists
  • allowing people to register with a GP near their work

The extra money for the NHS would come from scrapping the Conservative Party’s “shares for rights” scheme, said the Liberal Democrats, increasing the dividend tax on additional rate taxpayers and tightening the cap on pension tax relief.

Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander (pictured) said: “A comprehensive health service paid for by the taxpayer and delivered free at the point of need was a Liberal idea and is a central part of our vision of a stronger economy and a fairer society.

“We will raise this extra money from asking the better off to contribute a little more in tax. This Liberal Democrat commitment is fully and fairly funded.

“It is in stark contrast to the Conservatives who have explicitly stated they will target working people on lower incomes to carry the heaviest burden.”

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