Hunt: Brexit dividend 'nothing like enough' to fund £20bn NHS boost


Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled details Monday of a plan to boost health care funding by 3.4 percent a year, saying a "Brexit dividend" of cost savings would partly pay for the increase.

The NHS will receive the largest cash boost in its history, following a deal to deliver an extra £384 million a week to the crisis-stricken health service.

BMA chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: 'It is refreshing that the Government has finally conceded that our health service needs extra resources, with BMA analysis showing a significant funding gap compared to other leading European countries. They say they're going to increase borrowing but they haven't said by how much, and they haven't told us what the effect will be.

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

In a speech in London, the prime minister will stress the NHS must ensure "every penny is well spent".

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After the worst winter on record for the NHS, the much-loved institution is in dire need of fresh funds but a decade of severe spending restraint means the extra cash will nearly certainly have to be generated by increasing taxes, something the Conservatives have traditionally been reluctant to do, though opposition to the idea appears to be softening.

"If the Conservatives do manage to publish the detail of their insufficient 3.4% increase, then Labour's fully costed plans to raise taxes for the top 5% and big business will top up NHS spending growth to around the 5% which is needed".

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.

Independent think tank the International Longevity Centre - UK also welcomed the new funding, but stressed that the growing pressures on the health service need to be managed in the long-term "to avoid this becoming a sticking plaster solution".

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

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But she added that the scale of the Government's ambition went beyond that: 'So across the nation, taxpayers will have to contribute a bit more in a fair and balanced way to support the NHS we all use'.

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".

The Health Foundation has been clear: the proposed funding increase is not enough.

Tory chairwoman of the Commons Health Committee Sarah Wollaston branded talk of a Brexit bonanza "tosh" as she said voters were being treated like fools.

The chancellor has already promised a spending review in 2019 that is expected to look at loosening the public purse strings to fund the NHS.

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It was also tailored to send a positive message to the 48 per cent of Britons who in 2016 wanted to remain in the European Union - many of whom are still unconvinced about Brexit as the Mar 29, 2019 exit date approaches.