NHS Spending

Part of EU Nationals in the Uk – in the House of Commons at 6:12 pm on 6th July 2016.

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Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt The Secretary of State for Health 6:12 pm, 6th July 2016

It is perfectly reasonable to make the assumptions that the hon. Gentleman mentions, and there are plenty of reasons why we could look at some of the early impact on the economy even in the past 12 days and be concerned about the potential impact on the tax base and public spending more broadly. My nervousness as a Minister about talking those things up is that I do not want to talk down the British economy. Even though, as I say, I campaigned against the Brexit vote, I recognise that we are now going to leave the EU, I want the economy to be successful and I want us to make the most of the opportunities that face us.

On the broader issue of NHS funding, this debate indicates that there is some consensus—the Prime Minister mentioned this earlier today at Prime Minister’s questions—on the umbilical link between the health of the economy and the amount we are able to spend on the NHS. We are proud of the fact that we were able to protect spending in the last Parliament and to increase it by £10 billion in this Parliament on the back of a growing economy. Given that Health is the second biggest spending Department, we must recognise that it is vital to the NHS that we maintain that growth, despite the choppy period we are possibly about to go through.