The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Government’s failure to provide enough extra cash for the NHS in Wednesday’s budget, warning that local services will struggle to cope with growing demand.
Ahead of the budget the Liberal Democrats called for a £4 billion funding boost for NHS and care services this year. That would amount to a cash injection of £7m for local NHS services in Merton and another £7m for social care across the borough. The Budget announced by the Government will instead see the share of national income spent on the NHS fall in the coming years.
NHS services in south west London currently face a funding gap of £828m by 2020-21, analysis of local NHS plans has found. The NHS funding crisis also risks being made even worse by the Government’s hard Brexit plans, which are set to increase borrowing by £100bn in the coming years.
Reacting to the news, the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Mitcham and Morden, Claire Mathys said:
“The Government is refusing to stump up the extra cash NHS services in Merton so desperately need. Our only GP walk-in service at the Wilson Health Centre is closing and local A&E services are already overstretched.
“Chronic underfunding of our NHS is leading to longer waiting lists, cancelled operations and loved ones being stranded in hospital. The Government's response is woefully inadequate."
And Lib Dem spokesperson for Wimbledon Carl Quilliam also commented:
“Only the Liberal Democrats are being upfront with people that to protect our NHS and care services, we may all need to pay a little more in tax.
“We will also stand up against Theresa May’s reckless plans to pull out of the Single Market that will blow a £100 billion hole in the public finances. It’s clear you can’t have strong NHS and care services with a hard Brexit.