Cameron accused of breaking pledge over NHS

Amount of money spent by the NHS falls for only the second time in more than two decades

The amount of money spent by the National Health Service fell for only the second time in more than two decades last year, sparking accusations that David Cameron has broken a key election pledge to increase NHS spending.

The Department of Health claimed over £1.5 billion had been saved on “bureaucracy and IT” while the amount of money going into “frontline” services had increased by £3.4 billion.

Overall it said the amount of money spent by the NHS had fallen by £1.6 billion which, ministers said, would be available to be spent next year.

But it later emerged that the Treasury is to claw back over £1 billion of the under spend – which will not be available as additional resources to the NHS next year.

Labour said this proved the Government had broken its promise not to cut NHS spending – leading to unnecessary cuts to staff and the rationing of treatment.

“Today we have it in black and white - official confirmation from the Government that David Cameron has broken his central Election promise,” said Andy Burnham the Shadow Health Secretary.

“When he told us three letters - NHS - would be his priority, it was about cynical, self-serving re-branding of the Tory Party and nothing much else. 

“Almost four thousand nursing jobs are being axed, leaving waiting lists getting longer and the return of patients on trolleys in corridors. We are seeing crude, random rationing across the system with 125 treatments being stopped or restricted.

“With every day that passes and every promise he breaks, David Cameron looks more and more like a one-term Prime Minister - a Prime Minister who has betrayed the NHS.“

But the Health Minister Simon Burns said the figures simply showed the NHS was in “robust financial health”, 

“This Government has met its promise to provide a real terms increase in the health budget,” he said.

“The amount spent on frontline services in 2011 to 2012 increased by £3.4 billion in cash terms or 3.5 per cent compared to the previous year. While spending has increased on patients, we have reduced inefficient spending, saving over £1.5 billion on bureaucracy and IT.

“This money has not been lost but is being carried forward for next 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.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Bookkeeper - German Speaking - Part Time

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...

Ashdown Group: Field Service Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...

Recruitment Genius: Sales & Marketing Co-Ordinator

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence