The Tories just tried to pull a fast one on the NHS, but Labour’s leadership wasn’t having it [VIDEO]

Support us and go ad-free

It was a busy day in parliament on 23 November, as it hosted both Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) and the Autumn Statement announcement. During those sessions, Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Phillip Hammond attempted to dupe the British public on NHS funding.

But those lies didn’t go unchallenged. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell knocked them out of the park.

Labour challenges the government’s claim

Corbyn’s first question at PMQs was focused on the NHS. He confronted May with a claim from the head of the British Medical Association (BMA), Dr Mark Porter. That claim was that the government’s NHS reforms, called sustainability and transformation plans, may see £22bn cut from the service.

May responded by saying any ‘savings’ made through reforms in the NHS will be put back into the health service. She continued:

I would remind the Right Honourable gentlemen that it is this government that is providing not just the £8bn of extra funding the NHS requested, but £10bn of extra funding requested by the National Health Service.

Corbyn replied:

It’s very strange the Prime Minister should say that, Mr Speaker, because the health select committee, chaired by our Honourable friend, the member for Totnes [Sarah Wollaston], says that it’s actually £4.5bn, not £10bn.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The health select committee made that claim in July. It based its figure on spending across the whole health budget, while May’s definition of funding is limited solely to the NHS’s frontline services. Furthermore, the Nuffield Trust suggests the real figure is even lower in real terms, when inflation is taken into account. It asserts that the extra funding only amounts to around £800m.

You can watch the full exchange at PMQs here:

Rinse and repeat is the Tory mantra

Hammond repeated the same claim in his Autumn Statement:

The government, Mr Speaker, has pledged to invest in our NHS and we are delivering on that promise: backing the NHS’ Five Year Forward View plan for the future with £10 billion of additional funding a year by the end of 2020-21.

McDonnell also countered that claim with the health select committee’s figures. He then detailed the ‘price’ the public are paying for this lack of adequate funding:

We now have 3.9 million people on NHS waiting lists. More than ever. Many of those 3.9 million people are waiting in pain and they got no relief today. No relief today. Across the country hospitals are facing losing their A&E units, losing their maternity units and losing their specialist units.

This is the first time health care spending per head has declined since the NHS was created.

You can watch the full Autumn Statement here:

More damning evidence

Labour’s challenge over the government’s figure chimes with conclusions recently drawn by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA). It had been asked to look into the government’s £10bn funding claim. It deduced that the government had caused “confusion” in the claim, and reprimanded it for that. Also, UKSA instructed the government to be more up front about how it derives such figures in the future.

Essentially, the watchdog warned the government that if it is going to rob Peter to pay Paul, it must tell people it’s doing so.

Our NHS deserves more than spin and misinformation that is calculated solely to make the government look good. And it needs a massive injection of cash to pull it out of its life-threatening deficit. The more this Conservative government tries to mask its peril, and how it is contributing to that, the less the public will trust it.

And if anything is a political deal-breaker for this country, it’s got to be the NHS.

Get Involved!

Read more Canary articles on the NHS.

Take action with Keep Our NHS Public.

Support The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.

Featured image via RT/YouTube and Tom Donnelly/YouTube

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed