Corbyn: Autumn Statement proves Tories are a “threat” to the NHS

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Jeremy Corbyn today demanded more money for the NHS as visited a hospital in a swing seat to highlight the chancellor’s failure to mention the health service at all in yesterday’s mini-budget.

The Labour leader, who went to George Eliot hospital in Nuneaton, said he was “utterly astonished” that Philip Hammond did not bother to mention the NHS or the social care crisis were in the Autumn Statement.

Corbyn said the health service is facing “financial meltdown” after the majority of hospital trusts posted a deficit for the year 2015/16.

“Now is not the time to question the protected spending on health”, Corbyn said today as he praised local hospital staff.

He spoke out after using prime minister’s questions to grill Theresa May on the social care crisis. Corbyn said the Tories must contribute more to the NHS despite claiming to have delivered on the £8bn promised before the general election.

“There is an NHS crisis and there is a social care crisis and it is time to care for the NHS. There has to be more money going into it in order to fund the level of care required and to tackle the issue of bed blocking.”

Corbyn, who visited Nuneaton with shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth, pledged a Labour government he would provide real terms spending increases to ensure that healthcare is “sustainable in the long term”.

Earlier this month, Ashworth demanded the government release “secret” plans to cut the NHS. In the next five years, the health service is expected to make £22bn in efficiency savings, the bulk of which will fall on local health trusts. Many of these trust will face funding shortfalls.

Delivering his verdict on the Autumn Statement overall, Corbyn said: It “is a threat to the NHS and a threat to pensions, with not a single extra penny for the health service, and NHS ring fencing and the pensions triple lock now under threat. The Government must stop playing games with healthcare, living standards and people’s security in retirement.”

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