NHS spending boost will increase burden of taxation, says Jeremy Hunt

NHS spending boost will increase burden of taxation, says Jeremy Hunt

Labour is pledging a 5 per cent increase this year and we are being honest with how we will pay for it.

Theresa May's plans for a £384 million-a-week boost to NHS spending will increase the burden of taxation, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has confirmed.

Five key questions about the Prime Minister's NHS funding announcement answered.

The PM has just announced a grand new plan to invest in the National Health Service.

In an interview with Tom Swarbrick, May's ex-head of broadcasting in Downing street on LBC radio station, the prime minister announced that the the United Kingdom will be able to spend "around £600 million a week" more on the NHS by 2024, in what ministers are calling a "70th birthday present".

Dr Gerada told HuffPost that May had "attempted to appease" Brexiteers by "talking about a fictitious source of funds", adding: "There is no Brexit dividend and it is disappointing that what should be good news, namely additional NHS funding, has been clouded by citing a non-existent funding source".

Scottish Labour's health spokesman Anas Sarwar said: "This is an uncosted announcement with a "Brexit dividend" promise plucked straight from the magic money tree, and even then it falls short of what the health service needs to stand still".

However, May will risk a backlash from Conservative MPs by opening the door to increased borrowing and tax rises to fund the pledge.

She said some of the money would come from a "Brexit dividend" of "money we will no longer spend on our annual membership subscription to the European Union".

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"What is becoming increasingly clear on both sides of the border is the Tories and the SNP only care about headline-grabbing figures and sticking plaster solutions, rather than a plan to fix the health service for the long term".

She said the story behind its foundation, where surgeon William Marsden found a dying girl on the steps of St Andrew Church, in Holborn in 1828 underpinned the NHS's approach.

"We can not continue to put a sticking plaster on the NHS budget each year", she said. The pledge drew immediate scepticism, with critics saying the plans lacked detail and questioning whether leaving the European Union would actually save money.

In fact, hundreds of doctors and nurses have signed an open letter to May and her Cabinet arguing the funding increase is not enough.

We've written before about the concerns raised by think tanks and NHS senior managers that funding specifically targeted at the NHS has come at the same time as other elements of health spending, for example public health, have been falling.

"With this extra spending power, Northern Ireland now has the opportunity to improve health outcomes for our people and create the NHS that they deserve".

Mrs May has not ruled out tax rises, and there will be much interest in what she says about that in her speech on Monday morning. "And we want to listen to people about how we do that, and the chancellor will bring forward the full set of proposals before the spending review".

"I'll be making sure we keep the pressure on the SNP to deliver for Scotland and deliver for our NHS".

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