UKs Johnson offers new health funds to meet Brexit promise

first_imgLondon: Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised new funds for Britain’s state-run national health service (NHS) on Sunday, seeking to fulfil one of the promises of his 2016 Brexit campaign. Johnson pledged an extra 1.8 billion pounds (2.0 billion euros, USD 2.2 billion) to immediately help frontline services, in a move that further fuelled speculation he is preparing for a snap election. During the referendum on Britain’s European Union membership, Johnson’s “Vote Leave” campaign promised to divert USD 350 million a week sent to Brussels to the NHS after Brexit. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USBut the claim was misleading — Britain’s gross contribution to the EU budget is USD 350 million but it gets a USD 85 million a week rebate. In an article in the Sunday Times, Johnson paid tribute to NHS staff but noted “the pressures, the delays, the cancellations and the obvious need to get more funding to the front line”. “Which is why I am so determined to deliver now on the promises of that 2016 referendum campaign: not just to honour the will of the people, but to increase the cash available for this amazing national institution,” he wrote. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHowever, the main opposition Labour party questioned whether the money would ever be delivered and said that even if it was, it would not make up for a decade of spending cuts. The Nuffield Trust health think tank said the NHS has a ?6 billion maintenance backlog and the new funds were only a “fraction” of what was needed to fulfil Johnson’s pledge to modernise 20 hospitals. Critics also argue that spending plans will never be fulfilled if there is a “no deal” Brexit.last_img