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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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"Westminster Holds the Purse-Strings" on Scotland's Budget

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

SNP VOTES TO PROTECT SCOTTISH NHS

The Scottish National Party has today supported calls for increased public spending on the NHS in England following a debate in the House of Commons.

Speaking during the debate, Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“The reality of devolution is that Westminster holds the purse strings. The funding formula by which the devolved governments receive their block grants is directly related to budget decisions made for England in devolved policy areas.

“The truth is that there has been a 10% cut in Scotland’s fiscal resource budget since 2010, and a 26% real terms cut in Scotland’s capital budget. Nevertheless, the Scottish Government has increased the Health resource budget by 4.6% in real terms – and every penny of additional budget consequentials accruing from health spending has been spent on health. This coming year, health spending in Scotland will break the £12 billion pound barrier for the first time.

“The practical consequences of increased health spending in Scotland can be seen in record staffing levels – up 6.5% overall, with record numbers of consultants, over 1700 more nurses, and a 7% increase in GPs under the SNP Government.

“Efforts to join-up health and social care that are threatened by the austerity agenda and the cuts that both front benches seem to have shackled themselves to. Local authority budgets are already under pressure and further cuts in the public services they provide, including the preventative and early interventions they fund, risks driving up still further the pressures on the NHS.”

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