How typical of politicians to focus on the symptom without making a full diagnosis. The denial of a need for an ideological review continues…
English councils should be allowed to put up taxes to fund the NHS, Norman Lamb will tell the Lib Dem conference.
Spending on the NHS should also be paid for by a dedicated tax marked on every payslip, the former health minister will suggest.
Under Mr Lamb’s plan, taxes would not be increased as the new levy would be offset by deductions to income tax or national insurance.
He has warned the NHS faces collapse without an urgent cash injection.
The plans are not yet party policy, they will not be put to this year’s conference and the Lib Dems have offered little detail as to how they would work.
Mr Lamb, the party’s health spokesman, will tell his party’s conference in Bournemouth: “I am very interested in the idea of a dedicated NHS and care contribution – separating it out from the rest of taxation, clearly identified on your payslip.
“And I am really interested in the idea of the right for local areas to raise additional funds for the NHS and care if they choose.”
The Lib Dems say he would like to implement the ideas across the UK, although, as health and social care are devolved, it is unclear how this would be enforced.
Mr Lamb – a defeated leadership contender – proposes a cross-party commission to explore the ideas. He intends to consult health bodies and professionals, patients, trade unions and academics.
Ministers have pledged £2bn in this financial year for the NHS, and an extra £8bn by 2020.
Taxpayers are already shown how much they have contributed to the health service in annual personal tax statements.
An attempt to establish a cross-party commission on social care before the 2010 election – led in part by Mr Lamb – collapsed in acrimony.