Huntingdon MP describes PM’s NHS proposal as “toxic and divisive” and says figures just “don’t stack up”

Jonathan Djanogly appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire show. Picture: BBC

Jonathan Djanogly appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire show. Picture: BBC - Credit: Archant

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly has described the prime minister’s proposal to boost the NHS coffers with Brexit cash as “toxic” and “divisive”.

Theresa May insisted in a speech at the weekend that savings could be made once the UK was no longer paying annual membership subscriptions to the European Union and this could be diverted to the NHS.

She did make it clear, however, that taxpayers would have to contribute “a bit more” and “in a fair and balanced way” to support the NHS

But Mr Djanogly has said that while he welcomes more money for the NHS, the so-called Brexit dividend is “nonsense” and taxes will clearly need to rise to support the move.

Appearing on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show on Monday morning, he said: “It is bizarre that the government is deciding to bring this very toxic, divisive debate back into the NHS proposals. I just don’t see why they are doing it; certainly to my mind the figures don’t stack up.”

He added: “If they’ve [the government] got a good case to make on NHS reform, then make it, but why pull in all this divisive stuff?”

Mr Djanogly also raised concerns about whether debt levels would rise to support the extra funds and called for more detail on the tax increases.

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He was also critical of what he sees as a re-booted proposal and accused the government of “going around in circles” and said he felt it would be a “big mistake”.

The government’s proposal estimates that the NHS England budget would increase by 3.4 per cent, per year on average over the next five years. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the funding would come from Brexit, economic growth and taxes.

Mrs May has also asked NHS bosses to play their part and wants Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, to work with senior doctors to come up with a 10-year plan, looking at productivity, staffing and other key areas of the health system.

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