Simon Burns, the NHS minister, said: "The £20bn efficiency challenge was set out by the last Labour government in 2009. Unlike Labour, who planned to cut the NHS budget, the coalition government will ensure that every penny saved will be invested back into patient services. So while it is for local trusts to determine their specific workforce needs, we have been clear that money saved must be put back into improving care for patients."
The fact is, Labour said nothing about what they intended to do about funding. The hapless (and useless) Andy Burnham tied himself in knots about this when challenged, but there was no written policy.
The Labour manifesto, and the Labour manifesto for Public Services, say nothing about funding. The nearest we can get to a policy is in the March 2010 budget which said:
6.13 In the 2009 Pre-Budget Report the Government made a clear commitment to protect key frontline public service priorities in 2011-12 and 2012-13 and announced that:Note: no real terms cuts, but no real time rises either. If you read my last blog you will recognise that this is flat funding for two years (but no clue about what the funding would be like afterwards) and is exactly the same as the current Conservative government policy!
• NHS frontline spending – the 95 per cent of near-cash funding that supports
patient care – will rise in line with inflation;
It just goes to show how useless Labour is at the moment, that the government are successfully attacking Labour on a policy that they are implementing while saying how generous they are!