Health and Social Care that works

One of the things that worries many of the voters I talk with is the parlous state of health and social care here in Cornwall. It seems that Cornwall health and social care faces a £277m shortfall in funding over the next four years.
In spite of assurances for increased funding for the health service, including by members of the Government during the European Referendum campaign, the shortfall is not going to be met and Cornwall’s MPs are standing idly by whilst patient care suffers and voluntary groups in Cornwall continue to have their funds cut as the government continues to offer tax cuts to big businesses and enable the wealthy to avoid tax.

If elected I will continue to fight for the resources that are needed for the health of our local communities. Cornwall cannot rely on its spineless Tory MPs to stand up to the Government and the Treasury. It needs fearless campaigners prepared to raise the plight of the sick, the disabled and the frail and I promise to make this a central focus over the next five years if elected.

Lib Dem Health spokesperson at Westminster is former care Minister Norman Lamb and, unlike the Tory government, he is leading a cross-party/non-party independent panel of experts to ask the difficult questions about the challenges facing health and social care and to come forward with bold solutions needed to meet them. Their emerging conclusions are:

• The current funding settlement for our health and care services is not fit for purpose. It is well documented that there is a projected funding gap in the region of £20bn across health services by 2020/21 and a further £6bn gap in social care.
• It is necessary to raise additional revenue for health and care through taxation.
• There should be an independent body to make health and care budget recommendations to Government, setting out what is needed to deliver services and essentially providing a similar function to that of the Office of Budget Responsibility.
• We will need to raise taxes to deliver the greater level and improved quality of services required and to do so in a way which is progressive and takes account of intergenerational fairness. This will have to come from these options:
• Raising Income Tax
• Raising National Insurance
• Introducing a dedicated health and care tax

I am committed to supporting these principles as the MP for St Austell and Newquay