Labour considers NHS spending increase

June 2, 2014 10:44 am

Reports today suggest that the Labour Party is considering significantly increasing NHS spending should it win the next election. Further work is needed by the party to assess whether such a pledge would be deliverable, although options for paying for it are thought to include a ring-fenced rise in national insurance contributions or a delay in paying down the deficit. It is likely that both these options would leave the Labour Party open to criticism from the Conservative Party ahead of the election – but could the potential gains be worthwhile?

Even though the Coalition has protected the NHS budget across the lifetime of the current Parliament, an ageing population and a rise in chronic conditions has led to ever increasing pressures on spending. There are complaints that the quality of service has suffered – recently, the NHS in England missed its target that 85% of cancer patients should begin treatment within 62 days of a referral by a GP for a suspected cancer for the first time since the measure was introduced in 2009.

A recent poll in marginal seats found that only 29% of people thought Labour was the “more trusted” party to run the NHS, and there are some figures in the Labour Party, particularly Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham, who will be keen to shore up Labour’s reputation on this front. Along with other Labour health policies – such as the pledge to guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours – it remains to be seen whether a significant spending increase can be delivered in practice. But if Labour can convince the electorate that their promises on the NHS are credible, this could be a major asset going into the election.

Frances Powrie

If you would like to receive information and analysis on policy developments across our specialist sectors, please complete the following, indicating what sectors you would like to receive information on:

Contact us

We would be delighted to hear from you. If you would like to get in touch with us, please contact us on 020 7463 0690 or use the form below.

We look forward to hearing from you.

For media enquiries, please contact Mayar Raouf on 020 7463 0698 / 0750 232 7092, or email

Contact us via email
  • ace centre
  • Pancreatic Cancer UK
  • Pancreatic Cancer UK
  • Team GB
  • Lilian Baylis Technology School

Sign up for the latest news

  • * Denotes required fields
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Contact us

  • * Denotes Required fields
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.