The NHS budget must be increased by at least 4 per cent to avoid disaster, a senior Tory MP warned the Government today.
Sarah Wollaston, a former GP and chairwoman of the Commons health committee, said if the Government was preparing a 3 per cent annual increase for the NHS it ‘wouldn’t be high enough’.
Theresa May has promised a funding overhaul for the health service before the summer in a bid to end the annual winter crisis.
But she was warned by Ms Wollaston the increase must beat the long-term average of 3.7 per cent to start reversing an eight-year squeeze on hospital budgets.
Ms Wollaston’s intervention came after the Institute for Fiscal Studies warned household tax bills must rise by £2,000 a year to cover rising NHS costs.
The economics think tank said taxes will have to rise if the health service is to have any hope of meeting its waiting time targets
Sarah Wollaston (file image), a former GP and chairwoman of the Commons health committee, said if the Government was preparing a 3 per cent increase in NHS spending it ‘wouldn’t be high enough’
Theresa May (pictured last night in the Downing Street garden) has promised a funding overhaul for the health service before the summer in a bid to end the annual winter crisis
Ms Wollaston told the Today programme: ‘The difficulty would be if they make a funding announcement that is way below expectations, I think that would be disastrous.
‘The figure we are hearing touted today, of 3 per cent, that simply wouldn’t be high enough.
‘If we look at the long-term average since the start of the NHS, that’s been around 3.7 per cent.
‘And what we are hearing very clearly from today’s report is that we need a long term average of 4 per cent, and if possible more in the short term, to make up for the eight long years where we’ve