The NHS budget IS being cut!

We hear all the time that the NHS budget will increase year on year. A political promise that holds a lot of sway. It reassures patients that their healthcare is safe and secure and won't be cut or rationed.

The NHS budget promise was made in the coalition agreement by Messrs Cameron and Clegg in 2010 - see page 24 here - the first bullet point under 'section 22 - NHS'.

I have discovered though that this promise is not entirely truthful. HM Treasury issue detailed figures on expenditure by each Governmental Department and figures I have discovered show that in 2010-2011 the NHS budget FELL.

The actual NHS budgetary figures can be found on tab 1.9 of this spreadsheet which is downloaded from the official HM Treasury website - a shorter version is copied and pasted here...

It is quite clear that NHS spending has risen enormously in recent years but the promises made by the coalition that the budget is safe in their hands is not true. Yes the country has an enormous deficit but we are more than able to afford increases in the NHS budget (and other public services too). You only have to look at this graph to show the reality of the current budget deficit.

The deficit is nowhere near as bad as politicians make out and is part of the whole 'shock doctrine' ethos this coalition is inflicting on the UK public. If you look at the graph UK national debt was the highest ever when we created the NHS and it is now actually just a fraction of that debt. The real reason we are seeing cuts to the NHS and other public services (with much more yet to come) is due to political dogma and the neoliberal (right wing) belief that public services must shrink and the private sector must flourish, prosper and make huge profits out of illness and healthcare.

It is vital we invest in healthcare to look after all who are unwell and the elderly who absolutely deserve a first class health care service. We already see promises being broken and social care losing funding - an area that hits the elderly the hardest.

Many of these issues will be compounded by the coalition Health and Social Care Act which I have written about in previous blogs - if you feel strongly about these issues then please do sign my NHS Pledge (it only takes 30 seconds) which seeks to protect the NHS and improve it for our children and our children's children.

You can find it here -

Thank you.



  1. Hi David,

    Quite right Keynes helped to pull Britain back from public debt of 250% of GDP by spending government money on building the NHS and quite a number of other projects.

    And quite right that public debt is not the big economic issue facing the government. It is high, but certainly not unmanageable. Whereas private sector debt, according to the 2011 Budget Report, was about 450% of GDP. Figures are hard to come by, but indications are that this figure of 450% is about the same or a little worse which is why the government is having to run a deficit - the private sector are saving and paying off debt rather than spending and investing. So demand is low. Everywhere.

    The government have continued to borrow and spend more money than their predecessors making a mockery of the word 'austerity'. My information says that health care spending is projected to be about the same last year. See

    I agree that what we're looking at is not a rational response to an economic crisis, but an ideologically neoliberal response to gaining power, and attempts to consolidate that power.

  2. Thanks for this Jayarava - a fascinating analysis and one which I wholeheartedly agree with.

    The media have a vital role to play in this and we need to continue informing them and maintain the narrative by exposing the real reasons behind these so called 'austerity measures'.

    Best wishes,


  3. The main source of real growth in demand for NHS services is population growth. Not only is the English population growing at 1% a year but fertility rates have risen dramatically. See Causes of financial strain on the NHS. This growth in population is deliberate.


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