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BBC Question Time: Minister faces alarming graph on NHS funding


BBC Question Time presenter Fiona Bruce has said a Conservative claim of record spending on the NHS “doesn’t look so good” when a minister was faced with an alarming graph.


A special edition of the corporation’s flagship political event from Hodgson, Hertfordshire, was dedicated to health as the sector continues to face a number of crises, particularly the impasse over the pay of nurses and other staff.

Bruce presented Health Minister Will Quince with a graphic using Institute of Fiscal Studies data suggesting an average 4% increase in NHS spending between 1955-56 and 2019-20 – but annual growth Since 2010 has been less than a year for all.

<strong>BBC graphic shows the change.</strong>” width=”720″ height=”421″ src=””/></picture></div>
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BBC graphic showing change.

Bruce said: “Let’s look at a graph looking at the funding of the NHS. This will give you an idea of ​​where funding for the NHS was before the Conservative government came to power and where it is now.

“As you can see, if you look at the average there, it’s pretty dramatic in terms of the decline in funding. So when you talk about record investments, it doesn’t look good.’


Quince replied by not addressing the point of the graph – that health spending increased by a greater percentage in the labor years – but by saying “we are spending more on health and social care now than we have in the history of our country”.

“The average increase has been something like 3%, but when you look at it, it’s more like 1.6%,” Bruce said.

But Quince said: “If you take, for example, 2010, it was about £100bn that we spent on the NHS. By 2025, that will be £166bn.


“And, if you look when times were tough, for example, when we came out of the economic crisis in 2008-2009, the coalition government prioritized the NHS despite spending cuts elsewhere.”

It is not clear exactly which research by the respected think-tank this graph refers to. but a study This does not include the latest annual figure, with states’ spending increasing by 6% annually during the Blair-Brown years, falling to 1% under the Coalition, and up to 1.6% under a Conservative government by 2018-19.

But many viewers seized on the figures.


The IFS report said: “UK health spending grew by an average of 3.6% per year in real terms between 1949-50 and 2018-19.

“Spending increased rapidly during the 1990s and 2000s, increasing by an average of 6% per year during the Blair and Brown governments as part of a wider increase in public service spending.

“Since 2009-10, the growth in health expenditure has slowed down sharply. Between 2009-10 and 2018-19, real expenditure grew at an annual average of 1.3%. The average growth of 1% per year under the coalition government (2009–10 to 2014–15) was the smallest five-year average seen under any government.

“However, it is important to note that these increases occurred during a period during which there were large reductions in most areas of public spending. In fact, spending on areas such as education, defense, and public order and security fell, While health spending has continued to rise – albeit at a slower pace than has historically been the case.


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