NHS Pay

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:59 pm on 13th September 2017.

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Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health), Chair, Science and Technology Committee (Commons) 2:59 pm, 13th September 2017

I agree that we have to treat people with justice across the public sector to ensure that they are not unfairly and unreasonably left behind.

On the comments made by Dr Wollaston, behind this issue is the inescapable issue of the amount of money that we are putting into health and care services, because that ultimately determines how much we can pay and how many people we can employ. The bottom line is that we cannot carry on as we are; it is not sustainable. We are not being honest with the British people. The truth is that, at the last election, none of the political parties had a solution for the NHS and the care system. I was challenged earlier about the fact that the Lib Dems argued for a 1p increase in income tax. I absolutely acknowledge that that is not a panacea and would not solve all the problems, but it would provide an immediate £6 billion, which would have a big impact on the sustainability of the system.

The bottom line is that we need to work together across the party divide. If we do not, we will be letting down the people of this country. We can continue to shout at each other, but that does not help the family whose loved one is let down by failures of care because the NHS and the care system do not have sufficient resources. More than 1 million older people have care needs that are not being met because of the underfunding in social care. As the Independent Age UK survey showed, well over 80% of Members of Parliament, on both sides of the House, agree that we need to work together to come up with a long-term, sustainable solution. Please, Government, get on with it.