Scotland politics

Scottish government to receive '£2bn boost'

Medics in hospital corridor Image copyright Getty Images

The Scottish government will receive a £2bn boost as a result of UK government investment in the NHS, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

Theresa May has announced an extra £20bn by 2023 for NHS England - meaning a windfall for public services in Scotland under the Barnett formula.

Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison said extra funding was welcome.

But she warned that Mrs May's promise to fund the rise through a "Brexit dividend" was "simply not credible".

Any increase in funding for the health service in England is reflected in the Barnett formula, used to distribute Treasury funds across the devolved nations.

The Tories said the annual rise of 3.4% proposed by Mrs May was worth £2bn in real terms to Scotland by 2023/24.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: "In the NHS's 70th year, I urge the Scottish government to invest this extra money in improving health services in Scotland.

"Our NHS is hugely valued by people in Scotland, but we have seen services under severe strain in recent years.

"This additional UK government investment in Scotland has the potential to make a real difference for people in Scotland."

Image copyright Getty Images

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the additional funding was "hugely welcome".

"As we celebrate the fact that our NHS is 70 years young, it's important we look to how we deliver the sustainable health and social care communities across Scotland will require in the future," she added.

"I believe the best days for our NHS are ahead of it - this financial commitment by the Conservatives will let our health care professionals work to build a stronger, safer and better NHS for all of us."

The party called for "every penny" of the additional funds to be spent on the NHS.

Ms Robison said: "Under this Scottish government, we've increased NHS funding to record high levels and committed to passing on every penny of health resource consequentials to health investment in Scotland.

"Any Barnett funding is welcome after seeing Scotland's budget cut by £2.6bn under the current UK government.

"However, if this is to be funded with personal tax freezes and borrowing, then other UK departments will face funding squeezes to meet the costs of Brexit - and as a result any increases in health could be given with one hand and taken away with the other.

"The devil is always in the detail when it comes to Tories making funding promises."

'Magic money tree'

She added: "The Tories' claim that this is funded by a 'Brexit dividend' is simply not credible as the UK will be paying a £40bn bill to leave the EU.

"The economic damage of Brexit could cut up to £3.7bn a year from public services in Scotland by 2030 compared with staying in the EU.

"We remain deeply concerned about the impact of Brexit on the NHS and need a commitment that any post-Brexit trade deals the UK enters into must not open up our NHS to privatisation or endanger public health initiatives - that simply cannot and must not be allowed to happen."

Scottish Labour's health spokesman Anas Sarwar said: "This is an uncosted announcement with a 'Brexit dividend' promise plucked straight from the magic money tree, and even then it falls short of what the health service needs to stand still.

"What is becoming increasingly clear on both sides of the border is the Tories and the SNP only care about headline-grabbing figures and sticking plaster solutions, rather than a plan to fix the health service for the long term."

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