Critics scoff at United Kingdom govt claim of Brexit spending dividend

Henrietta Brewer
June 20, 2018

The Scottish government will receive a £2bn boost as a result of United Kingdom government investment in the NHS, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

But that figure, famously advertised on the side of the pro-Brexit campaign bus back in 2016, ignored the money that Britain gets back from the EU.

Mrs May did not reveal how all the money would be raised, but said Chancellor Philip Hammond would set out the details "in due course".

He said: "This programme of investment and reform was supported by a clear and specific increase in national insurance - unlike the plans announced today which appear to be dependent on mystery tax increases and a mythical Brexit dividend the IFS confirms can not fund the extra spending".

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.

Mr Hunt added that the NHS in England would be developing a 10-year plan over the next six months, setting out how the additional spending would deliver better service.

There will also be more cash to cover a pensions gap in the NHS.

Theresa May's claim of a "Brexit dividend" for the NHS is a "reckless pledge" that ignores the economic damage leaving the European Union could wreak, a group of leading health professionals say today.

The NHS will receive an extra £20 billion a year in real terms funding by 2024, partly paid for by a "Brexit dividend", Prime Minister Theresa May is announcing.

"When we have that plan in November, we will say "This is a great plan, we accept that it is going to lead to improvements in cancer care and mental health and so on".

However, health chiefs have warned that rises of around four per cent are needed to improve the quality of care for an ageing population, while Labour said the announcement represented "little more than a standstill in funding". There isn't any extra guaranteed money available as a result of ending our payments to the European Union budget, because those savings are likely to be more than offset by other costs associated with Brexit.

Responding to the Prime Minister's announcement the three health think thanks have described it as "worrying" and "not quite all it seems" as it doesn't include any mention of funding for public health programmes, social care, or things like hospital buildings and staff training.

The Scottish politician noted the NHS is a pillar of British society and praised Theresa May for making it her top spending priority.

May is under pressure to explain how the government intends to pay for increased NHS spending.

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

"Labour would have invested almost £9 billion extra this year in the NHS and social care, while asking the wealthiest and big corporations to pay their fair share of tax". And it's right, because the NHS matters to people.

"But we've seen less than half of that in Scotland; the SNP have not passed on health consequentials".

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