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Health Budget Consequentials

– in the Scottish Parliament on 7th November 2018.

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Photo of Richard Lyle Richard Lyle Scottish National Party

5. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will pass on any health budget consequentials resulting from the United Kingdom budget to Scotland’s national health service. (S5O-02513)

Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government will continue to deliver its commitment that all health resource consequentials will be passed on in full to the health portfolio budget. Every penny of health resource consequentials that arise from the UK autumn budget will be passed on to the Scottish Government’s health budget.

Photo of Richard Lyle Richard Lyle Scottish National Party

We know that the Tories’ promised uplift for Scotland’s NHS has already been cut by £50 million, with the cumulative impact being that more than a quarter of a billion pounds will be withheld from Scotland’s health service over the next five years. In its budget, the UK Government failed to set out that further consequentials over the years to come would not be cut further, thereby leaving open the risk of further cuts. Has the cabinet secretary had any confirmation from the UK Government that further cuts will not happen?

Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

I regret that no such confirmation has been given and, to add to the uncertainty, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has raised the prospect of a new budget in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport highlighted last week that that increases the significant uncertainty that is faced by our NHS staff, which is on top of the uncertainty among the very valuable members of our healthcare workforce who are European Union nationals. I continue to urge the UK Government to provide the level of clarity that I have been requesting since June this year.