Tax online giants to help Kids’ mental health say Lib Dems

30 May 2024

The Liberal Democrats have announced they would increase taxes on social media giants and companies like Amazon and Google to fund mental health professionals for all England’s state schools.

The new workforce would be paid for by tripling the amount such companies pay in what is known as the Digital Services Tax from 2% to 6%.

Recent NHS Stats show nearly 340,000 children and young people are currently on waiting lists to access mental health services in England. One in five children and young people aged between 8 and 25 had a “probable mental disorder” last year, according to the latest NHS report.

NHS data compiled by the House of Commons library for the Liberal Democrats found that 336,886 under 18’s were still waiting for their first appointment with a mental health professional in the three months to the end of March last year. They found the average waiting time nationally was just over six months but some areas like St Helen’s in Merseyside are waiting more than double that (444) days.

Brentwood & Ongar’s Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate David Kendall said, there was a “mental health crisis” among children.

“The social media giants are a big part of the problem and they should be made to pay through an increase in the Digital Services Tax to help seriously address the issue. We need to get more people trained up to do the job and then get them installed in our schools around the country as soon as possible”

David High Street

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