May pledges £20bn NHS spending boost

Brexit news Boris Johnson and an NHS hospital

May also said "taxpayers will have to contribute a bit more" to pay for the increased health spending.

The announcement is timed to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, which delivers free access to care for everyone living in Britain.

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The Tories have now admitted that the NHS needs more funding, but are not prepared to provide what is required to pull the health service (not to mention social care) out of crisis.

She told Andrew Marr on Sunday morning: "What we're doing is saying very clearly as a government that the NHS is our priority".

In media interviews, May said her finance minister would set out plans before a government spending review expected next year.

"Increases of at least 4% a year are the minimum needed to tackle the backlog of financial problems from eight years of austerity".

"That money will be coming back".

Mrs May also defied critics of her claim that leaving the European Union could help fund the 3.4% increase NHS by insisting that some of the money will come from a "Brexit dividend".

"So I urge the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales to use this money to improve the NHS - and to develop their own long-term plans for NHS Scotland and NHS Wales".

That's going to be funded through a range of ways, but one of them is what the British people voted for.

That could include reducing spending elsewhere.

May is under pressure to explain how her government will fund increased funding for the NHS.

"But that alone won't be anything like enough, so there will also be more resourcing through the taxation system, and also through economic growth". The specifics of how this will work haven't yet been outlined.

In the past the approach has been criticised as a "stealth tax" because freezing the threshold means that more people get dragged into the higher rate as earnings rise.

"Labour is pledging a 5 per cent increase this year and we are being honest with how we will pay for it". What kind of tax increase this would amount to remains a Cabinet secret.

It also said there was a possibility of applying Value-Added Tax to all goods-including those now exempt-and at a standard rate.

The Foreign Secretary said the UK's weekly gross contribution to the European Union would in fact rise to £438 million by the end of a post-Brexit transition period in 2021, as he continued to pledge the NHS would be "top of the list" when the spare cash became available. Because the scale of our ambition for our NHS is greater still. The International Longevity Centre calculated that if things carry on as they are, health spending could rise from around 6 percent of GDP in 2019-20 to 16.4 percent by 2064-65, which would be completely unsustainable.

"As a pure, sort of arithmetic point of view, over this period, there's no money".

He said: "Everyone who wants to see the NHS's funding put on a sustainable basis will be alarmed that the Prime Minister thinks it can be paid for out of something that doesn't exist".

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

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