A new, dedicated NHS tax should be introduced to help meet the spiralling costs of healthcare, the Lib Dems have announced.
Former health minister Norman Lamb said people could be asked to pay an "extra penny in the pound" via their National Insurance contributions.
Speaking at the Liberal Democrat party conference in Brighton, Mr Lamb accused other political parties of being "too scared" to raise the subject of raising taxes - and said simply criticising existing government policy was not good enough.
He told members he believed people would be willing to pay the extra cost as they would know where the money was going.
A dedicated cash stream would also help to protect investment in other services such as education, he said, as the budgets would not be distorted by the financial demands of the NHS.
He announced that a panel of medical will be set up to consider the case for the new tax. They will also investigate whether local authorities should be given the power to alter the rate depending on need.
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