Election 2017

Reality Check: How would UKIP fund greater NHS spending?

Suzanne Evans, UKIP deputy chairwoman, "We'll use the £11bn a year we'll be saving to fund a significant increase in money for the NHS and social care."

The claim: UKIP says it can fund a big increase in NHS spending by cutting the budget for overseas aid.

Reality Check verdict: UKIP could save significant sums by cutting overseas aid, but how much will depend on how the economy performs over the next few years.

UKIP wants to slash the budget for overseas aid to fund an increase in spending on the NHS and social care.

"UKIP believes it's wrong to be spending £14bn a year on foreign aid when the Red Cross is describing the situation in our own hospitals as a humanitarian crisis," said UKIP deputy chairwoman Suzanne Evans.

Under current legislation, the UK government is required to spend 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) on overseas development assistance (ODA), better known as foreign aid.

The provisional figure for 2016 is £13.3bn, according to the Department for International Development.

In its manifesto, UKIP proposes a cut in the spending on overseas aid to 0.2% of GNI, which would cut last year's figure to £3.8bn, a saving of around £9.5bn.

However, UKIP plans to phase in those cuts, so in its manifesto it says the saving in the current financial year would be £6bn and that would increase to £11.7bn by 2021/22.

It also promised that the amount of overseas aid would not fall below £4bn a year and any projects that are under way would be completed.

According to its manifesto, the saving would allow UKIP to spend an extra £9bn on the NHS and £2bn on social care by 2021/22.

UKIP's figures do not seem unreasonable, although the size of future savings would depend directly on how the economy performs over the next few years.

Ms Evans also said that if UK was to spend 0.2% of its national income on overseas aid, then that would be the same as the US in percentage terms.

As the chart above shows that claim is correct, although the US economy is so large that it still dominates overseas aid in cash terms.

Ms Evans also claimed that the UK would still spend more, in cash terms, than Spain and Italy combined.

In the last year for which we have figures, 2016, Spain contributed in overseas aid £3.1bn ($4.1bn) and Italy £3.7bn ($4.8bn), according to the OECD.

So combined, in 2016, those two nations spent £6.8bn, which is substantially more than UKIP's guarantee of spending a minimum of £4bn.

However we don't know now what Spain and Italy will spend in 2017.


Read more from Reality Check

Follow us on Twitter


More on this story