Tax hikes to pay for NHS boost, warns Theresa May

Tax hikes to pay for NHS boost, warns Theresa May

Tax hikes to pay for NHS boost, warns Theresa May

LONDON - Theresa May's claim that a "Brexit dividend" will fund increases in spending on the National Health Service has been rubbished by economists and senior Conservative colleagues.

Also, the government has been pressured to honour the notorious pledge plastered on buses during the European Union referendum campaign, which claimed that Brexit would make £350 million a week available to the NHS.

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. "Let's fund our NHS instead", said the slogan, infuriating the Remain campaign which bitterly disputed the figures.

The Prime Minister also called on devolved administrations to follow England's lead in moving towards multi-year funding settlements for the NHS, to give the health service greater certainty about its finances.

The Prime Minister has also said 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". "It must be a plan that tackles waste, reduces bureaucracy and eliminates unacceptable variation, with all these efficiency savings reinvested back into patient care".

Both are considered essential to the sustainability of the NHS, but the increase announced only applied to front-line NHS services such as hospitals, Global Positioning System and mental health care.

However speaking to the Today programme this morning, Hunt admitted the Brexit dividend "alone won't be anything like enough".

It is expected that taxes and borrowing will rise to pay for the increase in funding, and resources will be redirected from the more than £9bn a year the United Kingdom now pays into the EU.

"We've increased the health budget by 9.6% in real terms between 2011 and 2018/19".

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"But the commitment I'm making goes beyond that Brexit dividend".

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the funding would come from Brexit, economic growth and taxes.

As part of the initiative the health service will draw-up a long-term plan led by doctors setting out how the resources should be best used, the Government said.

"There isn't a Brexit dividend", Johnson told the BBC on Sunday.

Financial analysis by the Health Foundation and Institute for Fiscal Studies, published last month, suggested the NHS needed at least 3% annual increases not to deteriorate, but 4% in order to be able to put into action NHS England's ambitious transformation plans. What kind of tax increase this would amount to remains a Cabinet secret.

"This falls far short of the 4pc that experts say the NHS needs, it is just a standstill, and the Tories are refusing to say where the money will come from".

An official spokeswoman from May's Number 10 Downing Street said she did not have the details available.

Going on to say: "Actually, I'm announcing means that in 2023/24, there will be around £600 million a week in cash more, going into the NHS".

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