PM calls for 10-year plan to spend cash — NHS funding

Henrietta Strickland
June 21, 2018

As health professionals experiencing the effect of chronic under-investment in our health service we welcome the Prime Minister's pledge of greater investment for the NHS.

The NHS marks its 70th anniversary this year.

What do the experts think?

The health service in Northern Ireland is set to benefit from around £600m extra funding a year in real terms by 2023.

Jeremy Hunt has said the "precise details" of how a £20bn funding boost for the NHS will be costed will not be revealed until the next budget.

There has been some talk of a "Brexit dividend", although extra taxes and borrowing will be needed as well.

Where will the money come from?

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) director Paul Johnson says the dividend doesn't exist as the United Kingdom faces a steep exit bill, much of the money that would have gone to the European Union has already been promised elsewhere, and the Office for Budget Responsibility has calculated public finances will be £15 billion a year worse off due to Brexit.

NHS funding Q&A: How much money has been promised and will it be enough?

Today's announcement confirms that Theresa May has failed to give the NHS the funding it needs, and much of the funding announced today is based on wishful thinking.

Despite leaving, Britain will continue to make payments to the European Union over several decades to settle an exit bill of around 39 billion pounds. It said "it looks like there is limited potential elsewhere for making cuts that could compensate for rises in health spending".

But she added that "across the nation, taxpayers will have to contribute a bit more in a fair and balanced way to support the NHS we all use". The specifics of how this will work haven't yet been outlined. The International Longevity Centre calculated that if things carry on as they are, health spending could rise from around 6 percent of GDP in 2019-20 to 16.4 percent by 2064-65, which would be completely unsustainable.

Cancelling a proposed fall in Corporation Tax-from 19% to 17% in 2020-could raise around £6 billion. While a 1p increase in all Income Tax rates could raise £7 billion by 2022/23, and analysis by the IFS found this might raise around £5 billion in 2018/19.

"This money will be provided specifically for the NHS".

"We will be able to explain exactly where every penny is coming from but we will do that in the Budget", said the Health Secretary.

Mrs May's claim was also dismissed by one of her own MPs, the Tory chairwoman of the health and social care committee, who described the Brexit dividend as "tosh".

Labour, which said it would match the Tory funding proposals if in power, called on Mrs May to set out details of how her plan would be paid for.

"In addition, we know, because the government has accepted this, that the public finances will be worse as a result of the Brexit vote - and OBR [Office for Budget Responsibility] has said by about £15bn a year". We certainly haven't seen that.

Isn't it nice to have the whole picture?

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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