Polling stations are open and the nation casts its votes today. Terror attacks have pushed security to the top of the political agenda, however the NHS is still one of the most important issues and is the third most popular search term relating to the election.
What are the manifesto pledges that have been made about the NHS by the key political parties?
The Tory party are still in the running to win outright tomorrow. An ageing society is one of their manifesto ‘five giant challenges’, their key pledge is to deliver ‘exceptional healthcare, whenever, wherever, delivered by an NHS, with the money, people and buildings it needs’. In order to fulfil this promise, the Conservatives have pledged increased spending each Parliamentary year on the NHS, by a minimum of £8bn over the next five years. Their plans for funding social care by making recipients posthumously pay the costs of care taking property assets into account, were dubbed the ‘dementia tax’ and the policy landed disastrously with the electorate, and the party took a swift U-turn and an unconfirmed cap was introduced.
The Labour Party
Labour have have released a fully costed manifesto. They are pledging an extra £30bn to be spent on the NHS over the next five years, the most generous funding promise of all the parties, funded by an increased income tax for the top 5 percent earners. The increased tax has faced some criticism, and one to watch is their proposed repeal of the 2012 NHS and Social Care Act and their reversal of what they describe as the ‘privatisation of the NHS’.
The Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats’ manifesto promises a £6bn increase in spending on the NHS funded by a 1p increase in income tax across the board, while also ending the 1 percent public sector pay cap. The Liberal Democrats main health priority is fighting the ‘historic injustice’ faced by those with mental health issues, with a ring-fenced £1bn from their overall injection. Mental health has cross-party support and is featured in all of the manifestos, let’s hope the Lib Dems can influence the other parties with their platform.
Each party has made the future of the NHS a priority, with UKIP and the Greens announcing health policies too.