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NHS safeguarding will be a priority, says Lib Dem candidate

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Clive Jones made the pledge to voters in his patch, which includes Burghfield, Mortimer and Sulhamstead

The Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Wokingham – the constituency that includes West Berkshire villages Burghfield, Mortimer and Sulhamstead – has said that his party is the only one equipped to fund the survival of the NHS.

Clive Jones, who is challenging the previously Conservative-held seat, said that his party had committed to match the £8bn of extra funding that NHS England chief Simon Stevens says the institution needs.

Mr Jones said that neither Labour nor the Conservatives had offered a credible response, with Labour only pledging £2.5bn by the third year of the next parliament.

He said: “Once again Labour have failed to match the Liberal Democrats’ commitment to investing the £8bn extra the NHS says it needs to survive.

“Instead, Andy Burnham [the shadow secretary of state for health] tries to pretend the Liberal Democrats haven’t set out how we will pay for the extra investment. Which we have, in full.”

The Lib Dems say that they will boost NHS funding by 2020/21, invest a further £1bn in real terms in 2016/17 – paid for by capping pensions tax relief for the richest pensioners, aligning dividend tax with income tax for those earning more than £150,000 and scrapping the Conservative shares for rights scheme – and also increase health spending.

The party has also set its sights on the health of Britain’s roads, after its leader Nick Clegg announced a £100m prize fund for ‘green’ car manufacturers.

Mr Jones said: “Liberal Democrats in the next parliament will spark a low emission car revolution in Britain, starting with a £100m prize fund for car-makers.

“They will receive the multi-million pound fund when they produce an ultra-low emission vehicle that becomes a top-five selling car over the course of a year.

“This is a fantastic incentive to business.”

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