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UK PM vows big funding increase for National Health Service

UK PM vows big funding increase for National Health Service

The Prime Minister has said she will boost the NHS budget by £20billion-a-year in line with inflation by 2024 in a keynote speech about her health care plan in London.

The Prime Minister has said the NHS is to be given a "birthday present" of an extra £20 billion a year in funding annually by 2023, and argued technology must be a crucial part of driving productivity improvements over the next decade.

The PM will say that money that no longer needs to be paid to the European Union after Brexit will help fund the increase by 2023-24, and the country will also be asked to contribute more for the NHS.

"The Tory claim that the NHS can be funded by a Brexit dividend is simply not credible as the United Kingdom will be paying £40 billion to leave the EU", Ms Robison told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland. "Let's fund our NHS instead", said the slogan, infuriating the Remain campaign which bitterly disputed the figures.

Theresa May will announce her plans for an extra £20 billion a year for the NHS on Monday.

Jeremy Hunt, the health minister, who also campaigned for Britain to remain in the European Union, was quoted by the Sunday Telegraph as saying that the new pledge "can now unite us all".

Both are considered essential to the sustainability of the NHS, but the increase announced only applied to front-line NHS services such as hospitals, Global Positioning System and mental health care. Critics say taxes and borrowing will have to rise in order to deliver the pledge, but no detail on how it will be paid for is expected before November's budget.

"Actually the public finances will be £15 billion or so worse off, not better off, so there really just isn't money there for a Brexit dividend", he said.

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He also said that any "dividend" from Brexit wouldn't be "anything like enough" to fund the move, and noted: "We are clear there will be an increased burden of taxation".

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: "In the NHS's 70th year, I urge the Scottish government to invest this extra money in improving health services in Scotland".

The extra funding will start to be provided from next year, until 2023/24. What kind of tax increase this would amount to remains a Cabinet secret.

"We will listen to views about how we do this and the chancellor [Philip Hammond] will set out the detail in due to course".

"They say that they're going to increase taxes, but we've yet to hear who is going to get their taxes increased and how".

He long ago recognised the power that Brexit and its spurious dividend could have in securing support for a deal among his cabinet colleagues, and NHS chief executive Simon Stevens was a willing ally, raising the spectre of the £350m battle bus in his lobbying for a budget bail-out past year.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, welcomed the "sizeable investment", but said it "falls some way short" of the four per cent annual rises experts had said was needed.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt this morning agreed that Brexit could raise some of the money but conceded "more resourcing" through other means was necessary.

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