CONSERVATIVE media spin around the budget is clearly designed to obscure what is really happening in areas like the recently revealed massive fall in GPs here in Taunton.

Not only is the limited winter funding for GP services destined for locum, or ‘stand-in’ doctors who simply aren’t available, but also, Conservative rule since 2015 has brought about a massive decline in the number of GPs per person, in figures recently revealed by the House of Commons Library.

Here in Somerset, the figures show, the population has grown by 3% since 2015 but the number of GPs over he same period has fallen by a massive 12%. 

There is now just one GP per 1,893 patients! 

Housing developments at Comeytrowe, Monkton and Staplegrove planned by the last Conservative council will make things even worse and with Covid numbers now higher in the south-west than the rest of England, as long as Government also fails to implement a 'Plan B' response, GPs will be under even worsening pressure. 

Liberal Democrats consistently advocated a cross-party agreement on long term funding for health and social care - an approach rebuffed at the last minute by Mr Johnson and his ministers, who opted for a bungled set of tax and national insurance increases instead, one which sees those who we actually need most to deliver care - low paid carers and nurses - being charged the biggest proportion of their income in new taxes.

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No wonder the shortages of people available to do the job are getting worse.

Whether it’s promises on taxes and to protect pensions, to keep our rivers clean or to protect people during the outbreak of Covid-19, we see a new kind of Conservative party in government today - one that not only breaks its promises but delights in doing the opposite of what it promised.

‘Cynical‘ barely covers it. 

It’s time we put the funding of the NHS and social care above narrow party politics. Media spin won’t help when local people who can’t get an appointment to see their GP.  

Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesperson for Taunton Deane