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Andy Burnham has accused David Cameron of being an "NHS con-man", after it emerged that spending on the health service fell by £26m last year, despite the Prime Minister's pledge to increase it.
The Shadow Health Secretary said Mr Cameron's pre-election promise to increase spending was "about cynical, self-serving re-branding of the Tory Party and nothing much else."
"People will today see David Cameron for the NHS con-man he is: repeatedly cutting the budget on the quiet while letting patients pay the price," the Labour MP said.
“He cynically promised to give the NHS more money, but today it’s clear he’s cut its budget for the second year running."
But the Department of Health has insisted the NHS is in "robust financial health".
Health Minister Simon Burns said the Government had honoured its pledge to provide a real terms increase in the health budget, and insisted frontline spending had risen by £3.4bn, or 3.5%, in cash terms compared to the previous year.
"Our increases in frontline spending are already showing results – waiting times have been kept low, there are more doctors, the NHS has performed more diagnostic tests and planned operations, and infections have been reduced even further," he said.
A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed the Government was "spending more on frontline services in the NHS."
Health minister Simon Burns has apologised after calling Speaker John Bercow a "stupid, sanctimonious dwarf" yesterday in parliament. In a statement, he said: "If I have caused any offence to any group of people then I unreservedly apologise."
The NHS electronic records system is offering "precious little" to patients, according to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO). The report claims the £7bn system is behind schedule and not providing value for money. Health Minister Simon Burns blamed Labour for pouring millions into the project, saying: "Labour’s box-ticking bureaucracy tied doctors and nurses up in red tape and stopped resources getting to where they were really needed ...This report underlines exactly why we need to modernise the NHS".
A pledge to abolish hospital car parking charges in England within three years are likely to be abandoned as part of a coalition drive to save billions of pounds by "devolving" spending decisions to local bodies.
17/12/2013 on Daily Politics, BBC Two
11/09/2013 on BBC News
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