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Cornish campaigner brands £20bn NHS funding plan a "sticking plaster"

Cornish campaigner brands £20bn NHS funding plan a "sticking plaster"

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 12:39pm 18th June 2018. (Updated at 5:47pm 18th June 2018)

An extra £20bn a year for the NHS 'won't even begin to repair the damage'.

That is the message from a former Cornwall MP after the Prime Minister pledged the money.

Theresa May has announced that there will be tax hikes to help pay for the cash boost.

It comes after Duchy health campaigner Andrew George launched a campaign calling for 20% more funding for the NHS by 2020.

He said: "The Prime Minister's proposal won't even paper over the gapping cracks in the NHS, let alone help to restore services. 

"Her pledge is also based on the myth that there'll be a "Brexit dividend". It's fantasy economics.

"The NHS needs a serious cash injection now, not fictional money in 5 years time."

His campaign is being backed by actress Jenny Agutter who stars in Call the Midwife.

Watch her explain why she thinks it is a good idea below...

Credit: Andrew George/"Save our NHS" campaign

Meantime Theresa May is under pressure to explain how the government plans to provide the NHS with an extra £384m a week after talk of a "Brexit dividend" to help provide the cash was widely scoffed at.

On Sunday, the prime minister faced a backlash after she linked a planned funding boost with the infamous Vote Leave pledge to spend the money Britain sends to the European Union on the NHS instead - and even included a reference to the infamous "£350m" battle bus.

Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, chair of the health and social care select committee and a former GP, was among those to attack the plan - branding the suggestion of a dividend to fund the 3.4% increase as "tosh".

Mrs May is now under pressure from Labour to back up her comments ahead of a speech in London, with shadow chancellor John McDonnell suggesting her figures do not add up.

The prime minister has so far refused to be drawn on whether increased taxes and higher borrowing will be needed to allow for the £20bn increase to the health budget in real terms (accounting for inflation) by 2024, but will use the keynote address in the capital to explain why the NHS does need greater funding.

"The NHS will be growing significantly faster than the economy as a whole, reflecting the fact that the NHS is this government's number one spending priority," she will say.

"This must be a plan that ensures every penny is well spent.

"It must be a plan that tackles waste, reduces bureaucracy and eliminates unacceptable variation, with all these efficiency savings reinvested back into patient care."

Mrs May is expected to recall the emergency services' response to the Manchester attack and her own treatment for Type 1 diabetes as part of a glowing appraisal of the NHS, but the feasibility of the cash commitment is set to come under further scrutiny.

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