Norman Lamb has responded with anger to reports that more than five million people could be waiting for NHS treatment within two years, according to confidential documents reported in The Times.
Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Norman Lamb said:
This is further evidence of a health service facing impossible challenges.
The inevitable consequence of growing waiting lists is that those with the money will pay to go private, and
who can blame them? But others will be left waiting often in desperate pain.
We are developing a two-tier system, based on ability to pay and not need.
This is what the Conservative stewardship of the NHS means for people up and down the country.
The Institute for Government today (Thursday) have released a report urging the Prime Minister to accept the continuation of the free movement of people as part of a transitional arrangement. Commenting on the news, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron:
The Conservatives have no plan. They paint a picture of competence but this report shows that their vision is unrealistic and potentially disastrous.
Theresa May was the Home Secretary during the referendum campaign and it is now becoming clear that she failed to plan for a leave vote.
This hard Brexit government is intent on pulling us out of the EU in the most brutal way possible – damaging our economy, jobs and public services. This election is your chance to change the direction of our country and get an opposition that will stand up to the Conservatives and get a better deal for you and your family.
Responding to the results of a survey about the impact of a hard Brexit on research and development conducted by the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society, Lib Dem Richmond Park candidate Sarah Olney said:
Our country has always been a world leader in research and innovation, but hard Brexit threatens to destroy that reputation by making cross-border collaboration too costly, too complicated and too bureaucratic.
Instead of scoffing at experts, the Conservatives must engage with these esteemed national academies to ensure that leaving the European Union does not damage their vital work.
Responding to reports Theresa May plans to push through a vote to bomb Syria if she wins the elections, Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said:
The idea that after months of disinterest and inaction Theresa May would back military intervention against Assad in Syria outside of a wider diplomatic strategy and without UN backing is deeply worrying.
Assad is a brutal dictator, and the use of chemical weapons is indefensible.
The action taken by Donald Trump earlier this month was a necessary and proportionate response to the horrific use of chemical weapons. However, we were absolutely clear that we disagreed with the way in which he conducted it- unilaterally, without allies, outside of a wider strategy.
That is why the UK must not rush headlong into supporting further unilateral military action in Syria by Trump. Undermining international law and rejecting international cooperation has the potential to create instability on a global scale – seen all too clearly by the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003.
May would be wise not to use Syria as a campaign tool in this election. This would come across as calculating, unconsidered, and without the best interest of the Syrian people at heart.
Both health and social care spending per person are set to fall in the coming years under current government plans, analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has revealed. The figures predicted that health spending per person will be 1.3% lower in 2020 than in 2010 once the UK’s growing and ageing population is taken into account. Meanwhile even if councils make full use of powers to raise council tax to pay for social care, spending will still be 3.4% lower per adult than in 2010.
Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb commented:
These figures reveal the sheer scale of the crisis facing the NHS and social care in the years ahead.
It’s time to be honest with the public about the bold solutions needed to ensure patients and elderly people continue to receive the right level of care.
Otherwise we will see standards fall and hospitals collapse under the pressure of growing demand.
The Liberal Democrats are prepared to take the difficult decisions required to secure the future of the NHS and care, including increasing tax.
Responding to the Campaign for Better Transport’s report calling for a reform of rail franchising and improvements in ticketing, Lib Dem Transport Spokesperson Baroness Randerson said:
Liberal Democrats are on the side of the customer when it comes to needing more guarantees, and sanctions where necessary for failing franchises. The rail network could desperately do with modernising from top to bottom, including the way in which we pay inconsistent fares with outdated technology.
The party believes that a greater focus on passengers is needed to improve performance and would like to see the Department for Transport extend the right to operate franchises to those at a more local level.
The Government has announced it won’t challenge the High Court judgement and will publish a draft plan to tackle air pollution next week, after having attempted to delay the plans until after the election.
Ed Davey, former Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary and the party’s candidate for Kingston and Surbiton, commented:
It is a disgrace this Conservative government had to be dragged through the courts before agreeing to publish a plan to tackle air pollution. How much taxpayers’ money has been wasted because of the failure of ministers to do the right thing?
There is an urgent threat to people’s health from air pollution, yet time and again this government has dithered and delayed instead of taking action.
The Liberal Democrats will fight to ensure action is taken to tackle the air pollution crisis that is claiming thousands of lives in UK each year.
The government is ‘relaxed’ about the crisis in general practice because it thinks Labour can’t win the general election, Dr Phil Hammond, a former GP and health commentator has said. Commenting on the news, Shadow Health Secretary Norman Lamb said:
The Tories have acted with outrageous complacency by repeatedly failing to take action to tackle the crisis in our NHS and care services. Time and again, I have called on Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt to give the NHS and social care the extra funding they desperately need to keep pace with growing demand, but this has fallen on deaf ears.
This election is a chance to show the Conservatives that they cannot continue to put the future of our most essential public services in jeopardy. A vote for the Liberal Democrats will be a vote to give our health and care services the resources they desperately need.
If you want to avoid a disastrous Hard Brexit. If you want to keep Britain in the Single Market. If you want a Britain that is open, tolerant and united, this is your chance.
What this means for Britain
Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority.
Labour won’t win any seats off the Conservatives.
The SNP could only possibly win one seat off the Conservatives.
But there are dozens of Conservative seats where the Lib Dems are the challengers. The only way to stop Theresa May winning a majority is by the Lib Dems winning in those seats.
The only way to prevent a Conservative majority is by voting Liberal Democrat.
The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to the Conservative Brexit Government and the only party fighting for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united.
If you were hoping for a clear and sensible plan for Brexit Britain from Theresa May youíll be disappointed Theresa May’s 12 point speech contained no plan for Britain.
The one thing we did learn is the Conservatives have ditched their 2015 manifesto promise to stay in the Single Market and have now decided to take Britain out whatever the cost.
It’s clear the government has no idea of how to move forward and no opposition from Labour, who are also backing Brexit.
Many local people are choosing to back the Liberal Democrats because they have a positive plan for Britain and are the only party united in delivering an open and tolerant Britain.
The Liberal Democrats positive plan for Brexit Britain
We will fight to keep the UK in the single market.
We will give the public not just MPs the final say on a Brexit deal.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron says, ìI think even people who disagree with us will respect the fact we are standing by what we believe.î
And for the many millions of people who agree with us, my message to them is: join us