Prime Minister reveals £20bn a year boost for NHS

Wednesday, 20 Jun, 2018

As she prepared for a major speech in London on Monday, the Prime Minister was coming under pressure to explain exactly how she will pay for the planned 3.4% increase in NHS spending.

Mrs May says the health service will get an extra £384 million a week after the United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union, seeing its funding boosted by some £20 billion a year in real terms by 2024.

Well the PM told her former adviser it would come from a combination of a "Brexit dividend", so that the United Kingdom can "take advantage" of the fact that "we've got money we're no longer sending to the European Union".

May wrote in the Mail on Sunday that paying smaller contributions to the European Union budget after Brexit would free up money to spend on the NHS, while Downing Street claimed on Twitter that the commitment would be funded by a "Brexit dividend".

"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".

Theresa May has reiterated her much-questioned belief that a new funding deal for the NHS can be financed in part using money saved thanks to Brexit, but warned that taxpayers would also have to expect to contribute more.

The announcement, timed to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, which delivers care for free to everyone living in Britain, aims to foster unity in the government and the country after two years of bitter divisions over Brexit, the reports said.

Tory MP Sarah Wollaston, the chair of the Health & Social Care Committee, said the Brexit dividend claim was "tosh" which "treats the public as fools".

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Any increase in funding for the health service in England is reflected in the Barnett formula, used to distribute Treasury funds across the devolved nations.

Asked about tax increase, May said her finance minister would set out plans before a government spending review expected next year.

Theresa May today hinted that taxes will have to rise to help bankroll her £20billion funding boost for the NHS.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, welcomed the "sizeable investment", but said it "falls some way short" of the four per cent annual rises experts had said was needed.

Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Paul Johnson, told BBC1's Sunday Politics: “There isnt a Brexit dividend.

"The reason why we are not spelling it out now is because we want to give the NHS six months to come up with a really good 10-year plan. She won't stand up to vested interests and is instead asking patients to rely on a hypothetical Brexit dividend". The National Health Service is to get an extra £20bn per year. Without tax increases, Hammond would nearly certainly be forced to abandon his plans to erase the budget deficit by the middle of the next decade.

The Prime Minister has also said that "We will be publishing the green paper in due course on social care".