Fall in NHS expenditure
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."