"The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it"
Aneurin Bevan

Sunday, 30 October 2011

NHS Expenditure

The government keeps telling us that they will deliver real terms increases in the NHS budget, but the evidence proves otherwise. Today The Independent says that

"NHS total expenditure [fell] from £102.8bn in 2009-10 to £102.0bn in 2010-11 (in 2010-11 prices, rounded to nearest £0.1bn) – a real terms fall of 0.7 per cent."

Further, the House of Commons Library Standard Note SN/SG/724 (updated September 2011) says that Net NHS Expenditure in 2009-10 (in 2010-11 prices) was £103.2bn and in 2010-11 the expenditure was £102.0bn a real terms decrease of -1.1%.

The House of Commons library standard mote gives tables of NHS funding from when the service was created. Table 2 gives the expenditure on the NHS in England in 2010/11 prices (ie real terms) from 1974/75 to 2014/15. The last five years are the planned expenditure by the current government.The following graph shows the data plotted.

I have published a graph like this before, this new one is updated to show the new figures in the standard note (effectively, the dip seen for 2010-11). I have fitted three lines to this data, one for the Thatcher/Major years, one for Blair/Brown and the final one for the Cameron era. It is very clear that the current government is squeezing the NHS.

In the following graph I have plotted the data from 2006 with the Blair/Brown trend line plotted in blue and the Thatcher/Major trend in red. Clearly Cameron's funding is less than if the Blair/Brown spending had continued at the same rate, but what is striking is how Cameron's spending compares with Thatcher/Major. If the NHS were funded by Conservatives from the 80s we would have real terms increases of about £1bn every year, instead there is flat funding.

1 comment:

  1. The question is not how much did the budget increase under Labour? It is rather, how much of this increase fed the insatiable greed of the consultants and top managers, how much went on vital new buildings and equipment, how much went to drug companies, to PFI suppliers, and how much went to low paid staff? And it would also be good to adjust downwards for how much went back to the government in pension surplus, income tax, VAT and national insurance: NHS expenditure isnt a one way street.