National Health Service (Spending)

First Minister’s Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at on 20 June 2024.

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Photo of Evelyn Tweed Evelyn Tweed Scottish National Party

Analysis by the Nuffield Trust has indicated that both Labour’s and the Tories’ plans for the national health service would leave the health service with lower spending increases than those during the years of Tory austerity. [Interruption.] Does the First Minister agree that we should be prioritising additional investment in our NHS, not cutting it?

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

While Evelyn Tweed was asking her question, the source of her information—the Nuffield Trust—was being criticised by members in this Parliament. It is important that we all recognise that the Nuffield Trust, which is the source of the information that Evelyn Tweed put on the record, is a much-respected health commentary organisation. The trust has indicated that the proposals in the Labour and Conservative manifestos would result in lower increases in health spending than those during the worst years of Conservative austerity.

That means that there has been a missed opportunity to address the very issues that Jackie Baillie and Anas Sarwar have put to me today. We have to ensure that we have a realistic debate about investment in the health service. This Government has taken the hard decisions to increase tax on higher earners so that we can invest more in the national health service. I wish that other people would follow the example that we have shown about investment in the health service.