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Trebling social media tax could fund mental health care in schools, say Lib Dems

(Yui Mok/PA)
(Yui Mok/PA)

Trebling taxes for search engine and social media firms could fund a mental health professional in every primary and secondary school, the Liberal Democrats have said.

Party leader Sir Ed Davey said children are “being left in limbo” when they seek mental health care.

The Lib Dems have unveiled plans to employ mental health professionals in schools if they make it into government, which they claim could be funded through an increase to the Digital Services Tax – currently 2% on search engine, social media and online market place companies’ revenues.

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(PA Graphics)

Sir Ed said: “Thousands of children are being left in limbo, forced to suffer intolerably long waits for mental health treatment. They are being failed by this Conservative government who have neglected the NHS and abandoned parents and children.

“Liberal Democrats would put a dedicated, qualified mental health professional in every school both primary and secondary, funded by a tax on the social media giants that are such a big part of the problem.

“Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to get rid of this appalling Conservative government and fix the health and care crisis.”

According to House of Commons Library research, which the party has published, 336,885 children and young people were on a mental health waiting list in the quarter ending in March throughout England, with hotspots in Birmingham and Solihull (17,035 patients), Kent and Medway (15,550) and Coventry and Warwickshire (15,500).