Our response to the Liberal Democrat's manifesto

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to raise income tax across the board in order to give the NHS and adult social care ‘an extra £6 billion a year’ above existing spending plans.

Press Release

Published: 17/05/2017

Commenting on the health and social care policies in the Liberal Democrat manifesto today, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said:

“The Libs Dems have pledged to raise income tax across the board in order to give the NHS and adult social care ‘an extra £6 billion a year’ above existing spending plans.  However, approximately a third of this amount will go to social care, and the funding is not just for the NHS in England, but also for Wales and Northern Ireland to spend as they please.  

"This means that planned spending for the Department of Health in England will be supplemented with an additional £3 billion to £4 billion a year under Liberal Democrat proposals.  Although this will keep up with rising costs and treatment for a couple of years, a funding gap will then re-emerge.

Planned spending for the Department of Health in England will be supplemented with an additional £3 billion to £4 billion a year under Liberal Democrat proposals.  Although this will keep up with rising costs and treatment for a couple of years, a funding gap will then re-emerge.

Nigel Edwards, Chief Executive, Nuffield Trust

“However, to their credit, the Lib Dems have also committed to finding a long-term funding solution for the NHS and social care. This proposal to tackle the need for more funding on an ongoing basis is very welcome.

“What’s more, as we have long argued that low morale and staff shortages make the NHS workforce crisis as serious as the funding crisis, it is good to see that the party would end the pay cap for staff, guarantee the rights of EU workers and develop a more strategic approach to workforce planning.”

Notes to editors

  • Note that the Lib Dems’ spending pledge is expressed as the extra funding above current plans for health spending in England in any one year, unlike the Labour pledge of £30 billion which adds increases up over a five year period.