NHS Workforce and Service Development

Part of Opposition Day — [18th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 1:23 pm on 11th October 2006.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Patricia Hewitt Patricia Hewitt Secretary of State, Department of Health 1:23 pm, 11th October 2006

No, I am going to make some progress before I give way again.

Every debate about the NHS is important to all of us, but I was looking forward to this one with particular anticipation. This week, we have had the first sighting of a rare bird—Conservative policy on the NHS—but what a disappointment. What we heard from the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire today and from Mr. Cameron earlier this week was the mishmash of confusion and contradiction that we have come to expect from the modern Conservative party.

The leader of the Conservative party says that he will guarantee the NHS the money that it needs—a guarantee from the party that starved the NHS of funds for 18 years and a guarantee from the party and the leader who voted against the increased, record funding that we have put in? Conservative Members pretend, and they do so to NHS staff, that they can promise a blank cheque, but they also promised a new economic policy—a new fiscal rule, no less—that would mean £17 billion less for public services, including the NHS, this year. On top of that, their policy commission on taxation wants £90 billion of tax cuts. It does not begin to add up to a policy.