The Liberal Democrats have promised to stream an extra £6 billion into the NHS and social care system should the party win the general election on June 8.

The new funding - the first major policy announcement for the election - will come from an immediate 1p rise on all rates of income tax, ring-fenced to be spent only on the NHS and social care.

The investment, the party said, will provide vital services with the money they desperately need as part of a five point plan to put health and care services on a more sustainable footing long term.

"This is an average of £3 a week for the average earner in this country, so a pint of beer a week to pay for a health and social care service that will last us from cradle to grave,” Lib Dems leaders Tim Farron told the BBC.

But shadow health secretary Norman Lamb also stressed that “simply providing more money on its own is not enough and that’s why this is just the first step in our plan to protect health and care services long-term”.

To that end, the party is planning to introduce a dedicated Health and Care Tax to show on payslips exactly what is being spend on these services, and set up a cross-party health and care convention, consulting and working with patients, the public, NHS staff and care workers, to ensure systems are sustainable and integrated and put on a sustainable financial footing in the long term.

It also promised to introduce a introduce an Independent Office of Health and Care Funding to monitor health and care budgets, which would report every three years on how much money the system needs to flourish.

Labour has thus far said it would end NHS restructuring and pause for review all 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) being put together across England if it takes power after June 8, after it emerged that they could signal cuts - including A&E closures - across the service. The party has also pledged pay increases for NHS staff.

The Conservatives have promised a major shake up of mental health services, including 10,000 more NHS mental health staff by 2020.