National Health Service (Investment)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th January 2001.

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Photo of Gordon Brown Gordon Brown The Chancellor of the Exchequer 12:00 am, 25th January 2001

If the hon. Gentleman had looked at what I said in the Budget, he would have seen that I set aside the money, which has been paid into the national health service—[Interruption.] This is another example of the Conservatives' attitude. They refused to vote for the rise in tobacco duty and, had they been successful, that money would not have gone to the national health service and would, in effect, have been cut from its budget. We have put in the money over the course of the year.

As for the impact of that money, in 1996–97 there were 4,780,000 routine admissions; under Labour, because of new investment, there were 5.4 million routine admissions in the last year for which figures were available. That shows that the national health service is able to do more as a result of having more. The hon. Gentleman has just given an example of where the Conservatives would cut money from the NHS budget.