Theresa May tells taxpayers to expect to pay more to fund NHS

Lynette PayneJun 20, 2018

The prime minister said: "More than a hundred years before the National Health Service was conceived, William Marsden set up the Royal Free to help individuals who needed it".

Mrs May is under fire for claiming that a spending boost worth around £20bn extra per year by 2024 will be part-paid for by a "Brexit dividend", despite economists saying that leaving the European Union will have a significant negative impact on the public finances.

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".

And Mr Hunt indicated that separate plans being drawn up to increase funding for social care could include measures to encourage people to save more to cover needs in their old age.

The NHS has been struggling to cope with funding shortages in recent years, particularly during the flu-ridden winter months.

But she also said it would be covered in part by the so-called "Brexit dividend", which follows the £350m per week for the NHS famously advertised on the side of Vote Leave's campaign bus.

A further £1.25bn will be allocated each year to tackle the huge NHS pension deficits, say government officials.

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour's shadow health secretary, said the money was "not enough to save our NHS" after eight years of austerity.

When questioned on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday about what she would be "bringing to the party" ahead of the NHS's 70 birthday on 5 July, Theresa May confirmed the NHS will receive an extra £20bn a year.

Beyond the "Brexit dividend", May has not explained where most of the money will come from other than suggesting that "taxpayers will have to contribute a bit more".

Sky News anchor Sarah-Jane Mee left Jeremy Hunt seething after the "Brexit dividend" blew up in his face.

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

Spending billions of pounds is cool again.

"Actually the public finances will be £15 billion or so worse off, not better off, so there really just isn't money there for a Brexit dividend", he said.

The Foreign Secretary said the UK's weekly gross contribution to the European Union would in fact rise to £438 million by the end of a post-Brexit transition period in 2021, as he continued to pledge the NHS would be "top of the list" when the spare cash became available.

"I'm one of those people that have relied on the NHS throughout their entire life".

The Resolution Foundation has also said that it might be "reasonable" to expect around half of the NHS funding to come from borrowing, though the exact amount will "greatly depend" on the economic outlook. And I'm very clear that we need to make sure that in dealing with social care it doesn't put added pressure is on to the NHS.

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