Public Services

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 3:34 pm on 17th November 1997.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Opposition Deputy Chief Whip (Commons), Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 3:34 pm, 17th November 1997

Of course it is a good thing. Originally, the Government said that they would not transfer money from one Department to another. Indeed, the Prime Minister said at the Dispatch Box that it could not be done, but in September the Chancellor did it.

The Government allocated £269 million extra, which was raided from money allocated to defence and trade and industry, to the health service this year. That is correct. It will stop people being put on trolleys, which I welcome, but it will not be used to stop waiting lists rising, nor will it deal with the hidden crisis in the health service. It will do nothing to speed up cataract operations.

It will not allow the people needing hip replacements to be operated on. If the hon. Member for Halifax (Mrs. Mahon) believes that that amount of money will rescue the health service in Calderdale, Winchester, Beckenham or anywhere else, she is wrong.