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Lib Dems pledge extra £2bn for mental health services

The Liberal Democrats would pump an extra £2.25 billion into mental health services in England by 2020 to reverse decades of "institutionalised indifference" to the issue, Nick Clegg has vowed.

Nick Clegg has pledged to spend extra money on mental health care. Credit: PA Wire

The funding commitment - which comes top of the £1.25 billion announced in the coalition Government's last budget - will help introduce new waiting time standards and improve services for mothers suffering post-natal depression.

Announcing the Liberal Democrats' "Manifesto for the Mind", the Deputy Prime Minister said: "I hope by the end of the next parliament people really will see a major difference.

"But it's a journey which we have got to keep going on because it's having to reverse decades of underinvestment and decades of something close to institutionalised indifference if not discrimination against mental health in the NHS."

Mr Clegg said a story of a teenager's battle with anorexia in his constituency in Sheffield had had a "really searing impact" on him and prompted his desire to improve mental health care provision.

Labour vow to reverse Govt's corporation tax cut

Labour will reverse the Government's final cut in corporation tax if it gains power after the general election, Ed Balls has said.

Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, will vow to reverse a planned cut in corporation tax. Credit: PA Wire

The shadow chancellor said the move would enable Labour to help smaller firms by cutting business rates on 1.5 small business premises, instead of the big firms who would benefit from the fall in corporation tax.

Labour say 17 small firms would benefit from the cut for every one large business helped by the reduction in corporation tax, which is due to take effect next month.

"Unleashing the potential of smaller businesses to grow, create more good jobs and raise living standards is a vital part of Labour's better plan," Mr Balls, who is due to visit a small business later today, will say.

The Tories warned that it could lead to the loss of almost 100,000 jobs and put economic security at risk, "for the sake of making a political point."

David Cameron pledges two million new jobs

David Cameron has pledged to create two million new jobs over the next five years if the Conservatives win power on May 7.

David Cameron has vowed to create millions of new jobs if elected in May. Credit: PA Wire

The Prime Minister said he wanted to create a job "for everyone that wants one" by continuing to back business, housebuilding schemes, improvements in skills training and cutting red tape.

"When we came into government in 2010, unemployment had rocketed," Mr Cameron said.

"The choice is simple: we go back to square one, and the days of big unemployment. Or vote Conservative and finish what we have begun: with 2 million more jobs in the next five years."

Labour dismissed Mr Cameron's jobs creation vow as a "re-heated and empty announcement", with Rachel Reeves, the shadow work and pensions secretary, accusing the Prime Minister of failing to tackle low pay and of having a secret plan to hit families with £12 billion-worth of welfare cuts.

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