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  1. ITV Report

Lib Dems suggest new 'extra penny in the pound' NHS tax to help tackle rising cost of care

A new, dedicated NHS tax should be introduced to help meet the spiralling costs of healthcare, the Lib Dems have announced.

Former Lib Dem minister Norman Lamb addressed the party conference Credit: PA

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.

Political parties are scared, very nervous about saying anything about tax.

They see it as not in their interest to be completely honest [with the public] about the scale of the problem, and so nothing is said.

There's a complete dishonesty with the public about this.

It's no good just condemning the government for its failure to invest in the NHS and social care. We have to surely come up with our own solutions. We must lead the debate.

– Norman Lamb, former Lib Dem minister
The Lib Dems have suggested a new NHS tax Credit: PA

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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