Five things you should know about the Prime Minister’s NHS funding pledge
A so-called ‘Brexit Dividend will see extra cash flow to the NHS.
Five key questions about the Prime Minister’s NHS funding announcement answered.
1. What kind of cash injection is the NHS getting?
Mrs May says the health service will get an extra £384 million a week after the UK withdraws from the EU, seeing its funding boosted by some £20 billion a year in real terms by 2024.
2. How will it be paid for?
A so-called “Brexit Dividend” will see extra cash flow to the NHS from the more than £9 billion a year the UK currently sends to the EU, according to Mrs May.
But the PM was vague on where the rest of the resources would come from, stating that the country would need to contribute “a bit more” – which is being taken as a signal that tax rises and higher borrowing are on the way.
3. Is there a Brexit Dividend?
Depends on who you ask. Prominent Leavers insist Britain will get a multibillion-pound windfall when it repatriates resources from Brussels, but senior Tory Sarah Wollaston branded such an idea as “tosh” that treated people like fools.
Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) director Paul Johnson says the dividend doesn’t exist as the UK faces a steep exit bill, much of the money that would have gone to the EU has already been promised elsewhere, and the Office for Budget Responsibility has calculated public finances will be £15 billion a year worse off due to Brexit.
4: How will the NHS use the extra money?
The five-year settlement is part of a 10-year plan for the NHS for key improvements in cancer, mental health and other critical services.
Ministers have said they want to avoid it being wasted on bureaucracy or used up by day-to-day costs.
The Brexit dividend tosh was expected but treats the public as fools. Sad to see Govt slide to populist arguments rather than evidence on such an important issue. This will make it harder to have a rational debate about the ‘who & how’ of funding & sharing this fairly.— Sarah Wollaston MP (@sarahwollaston) June 17, 2018
Is it enough?
While the 3.4% boost has been widely welcomed, the IFS has stated that an increase of at least 4% is needed if services are to improve.