Meri O'Connell
The Liberal Democrats have announced they would plug funding gaps for the NHS and social care by putting a penny on income tax.

The tax would raise an additional £22 million for Reading, with £16 million for the NHS and £6 for social care each year.

This is the party’s flagship spending commitment. The Liberal Democrats manifesto has also set out a ‘five-point recovery plan’ for NHS and social care services.

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.

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Reading West, Meri O’Connell said:

“Despite the tireless efforts of staff, right now in Reading we are seeing patients lying on trolleys in hospital corridors, urgent operations being cancelled and the elderly being denied the care they need.

“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.

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Reading East, Dr Jenny Woods said:

“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.”