Chancellor Philip Hammond has today (29 October) announced the government’s plans for tax and spending for the next financial year. The announcements which have an impact on the NHS and its workforce are as follows:
- Confirmation of an extra £20.5bn for the NHS over the next five years.
- The NHS 10-year plan will include a mental health crisis service in all A&Es alongside more mental health ambulances, crisis services in the community and a new mental health crisis hotline.
- £650m grant funding to English authorities for social care for 2019/20.
- Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects are to be abolished for future projects, but the government will honour existing contracts. A centre of excellence will be established to actively manage PFI contracts in the public sector, starting with health.
- £10m towards air ambulances.
- £10m donation to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund
Trust to support veterans with mental health needs.
- The lifetime allowance for pension savings will increase in line with CPI for 2019-20, rising to £1,055,000.
Other key points include:
- Fuel duty will be frozen.
- The national living wage will rise from £7.83 to £8.21 from April 2019.
- The tax-free personal allowance will rise to £12,500 from April 2019 and the higher rate threshold to £50,000 at same time.
NHS Confederation response
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, while welcoming extra money for the NHS and social care, has highlighted the challenges ahead “what we needed was support to get the system back on its feet but what we have is yet another sticking plaster.”
Read Niall's full response on the NHS Confed's media centre.