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NHS becomes key battleground for rival parties

The NHS has become a key election battleground with a Conservatives pledge of an extra £8 billion a year for the NHS in England by 2020. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have attacked the announcement as an "unfunded" spending commitment.

Meanwhile, Labour is pledging one-to-one midwife care for every woman during childbirth as it launches its health manifesto.

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Osborne: 'We commit to deliver what the NHS needs'

George Osborne insisted the Conservatives are committed 'to deliver what the NHS needs'. Credit: PA Wire

The Chanceller has pledged an "absolute commitment" to the NHS as the Tories unveil plans to increase spending by £8bn a year by 2020.

Writing in the Guardian, George Osborne said: "We back the NHS's plan, but there's no point having a plan without the funding to deliver it, so today we commit to deliver what the NHS needs. Decisions about spending go to the heart of our politics because they reflect our values.

"We in the Conservative Party are in no doubt about our approach: the NHS is something precious, we value it for the security it provides to everyone in our country, and we will always give it the resources it needs."

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