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Prime Minister finally pledges to develop long-term NHS funding plan

The Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to bring forward a long-term funding plan for the NHS in response to rising demand.

May’s announcement follows mounting pressure from Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt and Simon Stevens, NHS England CEO, to improve the small spending rises the NHS has received since 2010.

The Office of Budget Responsibility has calculated that getting back to the rises that the NHS received from its creation in 1948 until 2010, an average of almost 4%, would need the NHS budget to jump to about £150bn by 2022-23.

That is £20bn more than currently planned and significantly higher than the £125bn that has gone into health in England this year.

Two per cent increases have been the norm over the past eight years.

May, however, did not mention how much more money the long-term plan could involve.

Speaking to Commons select committee, the Prime Minister promised to outline the details of the plan before Easter 2018 and said it would precede the spending review already planned in summer 2019.

May said: “This year and in advance of next year’s spending review I do want to come forward with a long-term plan. I want that to be done in conjunction with NHS leaders and provide a multiyear funding settlement consistent with our fiscal rules and balanced approach.

“Ensuring the NHS can cope with demand ahead of the spending review, I would suggest we can’t wait until next Easter. I think in this 70th anniversary year of the NHS’s foundation we need an answer on this.”

It is believed that a new tax is being considered as a way of raising extra money for the NHS.

They are considering giving the NHS a £4bn ‘birthday present’ to mark its 70th birthday on 5 July, according to reports.

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