John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, has written to Andrew Lansley, challenging him over the coalition's promises on NHS funding – public promises made by David Cameron, the Coalition Agreement and Andrew Lansley.
John Healey in a letter to Andrew Lansley said:
“I am concerned that what the Chancellor announced today does not match what the Prime Minister, the Coalition Agreement and you as Health Secretary have promised for the NHS.
“There are a number of serious questions over the funding figures that the Government has announced and published today, which suggest there is no real terms increase in NHS spending over the Spending Review and no protection for the NHS budget. In other words, you are breaking your NHS promises.
“People deserve a full explanation on the following points, and I challenge you to provide it. I am tabling each of my questions below as named day questions, so that your answers will be set out on the Parliamentary record.”
In his letter, Mr Healey challenges Mr Lansley to do the following:
On the supposed ‘real terms increase’ in NHS funding
• explain why the baseline for funding allocation has been cut by £2.8billion
• confirm the year by year increases in the NHS budget
• confirm that this year’s planned NHS surplus of £1billion is incorporated in full into the NHS budget baseline
• confirm that the figures showing a 10% cash cut in the NHS capital budget over the next four years are correct
On the supposed protection for the NHS budget
• confirm the allocation for social care services is money taken from NHS healthcare spending, and in doing so confirm the impact on NHS spending over the period of the review
On actual additional costs for the NHS
• release the Government’s estimated cost to the NHS of the rise in VAT
• release the Government’s estimated cost of reorganisation to the NHS as set out in Mr Lansley’s Health White Paper