NHS Funding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:31 pm on 9th February 2005.

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Photo of John Reid John Reid Secretary of State, Department of Health, The Secretary of State for Health 12:31 pm, 9th February 2005

When the hon. Gentleman refers to the bare minimum, I take it that he means the 9.1 per cent. and 10.1 per cent. increases that he is getting. It is news to me that that is the bare minimum, especially compared with the amounts handed out in the years of the Conservative Government. I hope that he welcomes the £35 million extra for Castle Point and Rochford PCT and the £17 million for Maldon and South Chelmsford PCT. [Interruption.] I think that there was a nod over there, Mr. Speaker. We have again refined the formula to try to make it fairer. The four areas outlined by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister are precisely those on which we have been most engaged with the ODPM in trying to ensure that the figures are fair and take account of future development.

If the hon. Gentleman is really worried about deficits, he should worry about the £24 million that would be taken from the two primary care trusts that I cited to subsidise his party's policy of the patient's passport. I hope that he is being honest enough to tell his constituents that that £24 million would be taken away from the money that the PCTs already have. Additionally, NHS Direct would be closed down, as would the primary care trusts, as far as I can see from the James report. All the work done by primary care trusts would thus have to be done by the hon. Gentleman's local general practitioners, but they would receive no extra money. Has he told his GPs that?