Saturday, July 14, 2018

Channel 4 Factcheck evicerates Labour's policy on the NHS.

During last year's General Election the Labour party boasted that they had a "fully costed" plan which included a 2% annual rise in real terms in the NHS budget.

Experts have been saying for some time that none of the parties were proposing to increase NHS spending by enough to cope with the extra demand as people are living longer and new medical techniques give us more opportunities to save lives or improve people's quality of life - at a price.

For example, the British Medical Journal recently published an article arguing that to meet rising demand NHS funding needs to rise by between 3.3 per cent and 5 per cent a year in real terms over the next 15 years.

So the government has produced a new long term plan for the NHS which includes increasing the budget by 3.4% a year in real terms, which would mean £20 billion a year in five year's time.

That's an awful lot of money and from anyone else Labour's initial response - to ask where the money is coming from - would be a fair question. (The government says that some if it will be from the sums we no longer have to pay the EU when we leave and the rest from tax.)

Labour then announced that that this isn't nearly enough extra money - despite it being massively more than Labour themselves promised to spend in their "fully funded" manifesto only last year - and that a Labour government would increase NHS spending by 5% a year in real terms.

To date, when asked how they would fund this further massive increase in NHS spending, Labour merely referred people to the document produced during the last election - which contained proposals to fund the 2% increase in real NHS spending which is much less than what the government is now doing but Labour calls "insufficient" and vastly less than Labour themselves are now promising to spend.

Channel 4 Factcheck points out the problems with Labour's position here.

No comments: