Liberal Democrats Pledge Tax Increase for U.K. Health Spending

  • Pro-EU party has five-point strategy to improve social care
  • Long-term plan calls for dedicated health and care taxes

The U.K. Liberal Democrats, unveiling part of the platform for June’s general election, pledged to increase the income tax by one percent to raise 6 billion pounds ($7.8 billion) a year for Britain’s ailing National Health Service.

Tim Farron campaigning in Cambridge.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

The money is part of a five-point strategy to improve health and social care. It will be followed in the longer-term by a Health and Care Tax to provide funding for both services, according to a statement emailed Saturday by the party.

Local authorities have been struggling to meet the costs and demand of an aging population, forcing Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to pledge extra funds for social care in his March budget -- a move opposition parties say won’t resolve Britain’s health-care funding crisis. 

The Liberal Democrats’ campaign strategy for the June 8 election so far has been to oppose the U.K. exit from the European Union to appeal to voters angry at the referendum result. The party failed to make a breakthrough in local U.K. elections held Thursday. The party holds nine seats in Parliament.

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