Paul Ray

The Liberal Democrats have a plan to protect NHS services for Lichfield and Burntwood residents, says their parliamentary candidate Paul Ray.

NHS England boss Simon Stevens has said the health service faces a £30 billion funding gap by 2020.

He plans to raise £22 billion through NHS efficiency savings, but admits the remaining £8 billion must come from central government.

Paul Ray. Pic: Lewis Deakin
Paul Ray. Pic: Lewis Deakin

Mr Ray claims the Liberal Democrats are the only party that has set out in detail how they would meet this funding request.

He said: “The NHS is a service that is important to all of us. We are the only party that has committed to giving the NHS the £8 billion annually it needs by 2020.

“Simon Stevens the boss of NHS England has made this funding request, and the Liberal Democrats have said as a party we will commit to that.”

The Liberal Democrats health plan involves capping pension tax relief, scrapping the Conservatives shares for rights scheme and through a dividend tax squeeze.

The party would use £2 billion from the Autumn Statement to fund the NHS – they would then invest an extra £1 billion in 2016, and use economic growth to meet the shortfall in NHS funding.

Mental health would also receive an extra £500 million a year under Liberal Democrat plans.

Mr Ray, 52, believes it is time that physical illness and mental illness were treated equally within the NHS.

He said: “We aim to achieve equal treatment for mental health and physical illness. Currently if you have cancer you are put on a clear track of treatment, but if you have a mental health issue there is not the same level of treatment that is why the Liberal Democrats are committed to putting money into mental health.

“I think our proposal has struck a chord with the public as many people know of someone who is having a difficult time with mental health.”

The candidates standing in the Lichfield constituency in May are:

  • Andy Bennetts – Class War
  • Michael Fabricant – Conservatives
  • Robert Pass – Green Party
  • John Rackham – UKIP
  • Paul Ray – Lib Dem
  • Chris Worsey – Labour


Lewis Deakin

NCTJ-trained reporter with experience in a wide variety of journalism settings.

One reply on “Candidate insists Lib Dems will protect local NHS services”

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  1. As Burntwood’s promised health centres were scrapped as soon as the LibDem/Conservative Coalition came in he’ll forgive me for being a little but sceptical.
    My Freedom of Information request also revealed that our Conservative MP did nothing to speak up for Burntwood’s 23,000 residents (not to mention Hammerwich) either with his own ministers (too busy asking questions about Wales) or even write to the NHS!
    More background info is here

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