Chancellor George Osborne tells Channel 4 News his party is committed to the NHS. Does that include the extra £30bn a year for the service by 2020 promised by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt?
Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman asked Chancellor George Osborne if he was prepared to give a cast-iron commitment to giving the NHS an extra £30bn a year by 2020 – as promised by the health secretary during an interview with the programme on 28 March (see interview below).
Mr Osborne replied: “We’re absolutely committed to the NHS. Committed to real increases every year… We are committed to funding the NHS’s own plan for its future put together by Simon Stephens.
“And again, we had a choice five years ago. We could have cut the NHS – and there were lots of people urging us to do that. But no, we increased funding on the NHS.
“It is part of our balanced package, a package that has delivered economic security, a record number of doctors and nurses in our NHS, economic opportunity for our families.”
The chancellor was speaking to Channel 4 News on the day parliament was dissolved, signalling the official start of the 2015 general election campaign.
He was also questioned about David Cameron’s assertion on the doorstep of No.10 Downing Street earlier in the day that Labour leader Ed Miliband was planning £3,000 in tax rises for every working family.
Cathy Newman pointed out that the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said there is little value in bandying around numbers because we do not know what a Labour government would do after the election.
“And this is what brings politics into disrepute,” she said, “bandying around these figures that you can’t back up.
Mr Osborne replied: “I’ve just explained how we arrive at that figure. It’s based on what the Labour party has voted for and what Ed Miliband has promised.
“And, you know, you talk about David Cameron being on the steps of Downing Street. I remember five years ago when he gave that speech as the new prime minister, and it was difficult to imagine a more terrible inheritance for a prime minister, the country on the brink of economic catastrophe.
“Five years later, we’ve got a record number of people in work, we’ve delivered economic security for families.”