Lee Dillon, Lib Dem candidate for Newbury constituency calls for emergency Health and Care Budget to rescue local services

1 Jul 2024


 Lee Dillon, Lib Dem candidate for Newbury constituency calls for emergency Health and Care Budget to rescue local services

- West Berkshire and Newbury’s Liberal Democrats call for emergency Health and Care Budget within four weeks of the General Election to save local health services

- Local Liberal Democrats say there can be no delay in rescuing health services on the brink after years of Conservative cuts and neglect

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Newbury, Lee Dillon said:

“Local health services are on their knees. A staggering number of people I talk to on the doorstep have their own stories of not being able to get a GP appointment, register with an NHS dentist, or having been forced to wait for hours in A&E.

“Ending the crisis in our NHS has to be the top priority of any government after the election. We must rescue our local health services which have been pushed to the brink by the Conservative party.”

The Liberal Democrats have put saving the NHS at the heart of their manifesto, with bold and ambitious proposals to boost GP numbers by 8,000, end dental deserts, give patients a legal right to start cancer treatment within 62 days of urgent referral, increase the number of staffed hospital beds and to end excessive ambulance handover delays.

The Liberal Democrat manifesto has set out proposals for an extra £9 billion a year of spending on the NHS and care, paid for by asking banks and billionaires to pay their fair share. The new investment in the NHS and care would be funded through additional revenue raised by closing loopholes in Capital Gains Tax exploited by the ultra-wealthy and reversing the Conservative Party’s tax cuts for the big banks.

Lee Dillon went on, “Health care in Newbury and West Berkshire needs urgent support as our doctors face significant challenges, including a growing elderly population, and issues with staff recruitment and retention.

“An emergency budget right after the election is the only way we can start to repair the damage done to our communities' health services. People in our area should not have to wait for a moment longer to get the care they deserve.”


Notes to Editors:

The emergency Budget would be much more targeted in scope than a normal Budget, with a specific focus on increasing investment in health and social care and the revenue measures needed to pay for it. It could be held on Wednesday July 31st, within four weeks of the new Parliament. Immediately after the election, the Government should ask the OBR urgently to draw up forecasts in time for the emergency Budget.

Although the Chancellor is usually expected to give the OBR 10 weeks’ notice of a fiscal event, the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the OBR makes provision for the OBR to deliver its forecasts more quickly in exceptional circumstances [MoU Nov 2023].

The spending package for the NHS, public health and social care set out in the Liberal Democrat manifesto totals £9.4 billion a year by 2028-29. It includes an extra £3.7bn a year in day-to-day NHS spending, an extra £1.1bn a year of capital investment in hospitals and other NHS infrastructure and equipment, an extra £1bn a year for public health by increasing the Public Health Grant and an additional £3.7bn a year for social care.

The measures would be funded by policies in the party’s manifesto to:

Fairly reform Capital Gains Tax: closing loopholes exploited by the super-wealthy by adjusting the rates while increasing the tax-free allowance from £3,000 to £5,000, on top of a new tax-free allowance for

inflation (indexation), and introducing a relief for small businesses. This is forecast to raise £5.2bn a year in 2028-29.

Reverse Conservative tax cuts for the big banks, restoring Bank Surcharge and Bank Levy revenues to 2016 levels in real terms. This is forecast to raise £4.3bn a year in 2028-29.

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