Sophy Ridge Leaves Steve Barclay Squirming Over Tories' NHS Spending Plans

"If Labour announced this without saying where that money was coming from you'd be after them like a rocket."
Steve Barclay was grilled by Sophy Ridge
Steve Barclay was grilled by Sophy Ridge
Sky News

Steve Barclay was left squirming by Sophy Ridge as he failed to explain how the Tories will pay for a major NHS spending boost.

The Sky News presenter repeatedly asked the health secretary where the £2.4 billion to recruit thousands more doctors and nurses will come from.

Rishi Sunak unveiled the long-awaited NHS workforce plan on Friday.

Asked by Ridge how the government would find the money, Barclay would only say it would be “through the Treasury” but refused to give any specifics.

Ridge responded: “What does that mean though? Is that more money for your department or are you going to have to find it from existing NHS budgets or is it borrowing? Where is it coming from?”

In a rambling answer, Barclay said: “This is additional money, it will be announced in the usual way through fiscal events.”

Ridge hit back: “I haven’t heard any new tax rises or spending cuts so I’m assuming it sounds like it must be extra borrowing.

″A hundred per cent of GDP - that the current level of debt. Interest rates rising, so the cost of servicing debt is going up - is that really responsible?

“If Labour announced a policy of £2.4 billion without saying where that money was coming from you would be after them like a rocket.”

Barclay said the policy would also improve the retention of NHS staff, thereby saving money on hiring agency workers.


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