The government should abandon its ‘incorrect’ claims of putting £10bn into the NHS annual budget by the end of this parliament, say the MPs [Image: Peter Byrne/PA].

The government should abandon its ‘incorrect’ claims of putting £10bn into the NHS annual budget by the end of this parliament, say the MPs [Image: Peter Byrne/PA].

This revelation is doubly welcome, in that it makes mincemeat of Jeremy Hunt’s – and Theresa May’s – claims that they are funding NHS England properly, and in that it comes from a group led by Tory MPs.

It doesn’t go far enough – the Tories came into office with a plan to cut NHS funding by £20 billion, so putting £10 billion extra into the kitty still leaves a shortfall of a further £10 billion.

But perhaps it is best simply to be glad that even Tories are realising their government is built on lies.

Theresa May’s claims that the government is putting £10bn extra into the NHS are untrue and the underfunding of the health service is so severe that it may soon trigger rationing of treatment and hospital unit closures, a group of influential MPs have warned Philip Hammond.

Five MPs led by the Conservative Dr Sarah Wollaston, the chair of the Commons health select committee, have written to the chancellor demanding the government abandon its “incorrect” claims of putting £10bn into the NHS annual budget by the end of this parliament and admit the severity of its financial shortage.

May told the Manchester Evening News: “Simon Stevens was asked to come forward with a five-year plan for the NHS. He said that it needed £8bn extra; the government has not just given him £8bn extra, we’ve given him £10bn extra. As I say, we have given the NHS more than the extra money they said they wanted for their five-year plan.”

However, the MPs say that May’s £10bn claim cannot be justified. “The £10bn figure can only be reached by adding an extra year to the spending review period, changing the date from which the real terms increase is calculated and disregarding the total health budget,” they concluded.

In the run-up to the general election, George Osborne, the then chancellor, promised to spend £8bn more a year by 2020, a figure that has risen since. But the MPs dispute that arithmetic, saying that the real amount of extra cash being given to the NHS in England between 2014-15 and 2020-21 is only £6bn and even that much smaller sum has only come from cutting spending on public health programmes and medical education and training by £3.5bn.

Source: Theresa May’s claim on health funding not true, say MPs | Society | The Guardian

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