The Liberal Democrats have pledged to increase income tax by a penny for every earner to fund a £6bn-a-year cash injection for the NHS and social care.
In what was described as their flagship spending commitment of the general election campaign, the party’s leader, Tim Farron, said voters recognised the need to “chip in a little more” to address the “chronic underfunding” of healthcare.
Under the Lib Dem plan, 1p would be added to the basic, higher and additional rates of income tax and the rate of dividend tax from the next financial year, with the £6bn raised being ring-fenced for the NHS, social care and public health.
The proposal – which echoes the Lib Dems’ pledge from the 1990s to put a penny on income tax for education – will be seen as a clear attempt to capitalise on public concerns about the state of healthcare.
Theresa May has insisted the Conservatives have no plans for tax rises while appearing to back away from a previous pledge not to put up income tax or national insurance.