'The NHS is very well funded': Treasury minister dodges question on impact of NI change

23 March 2022, 18:46 | Updated: 23 March 2022, 18:53

By Sophie Barnett

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury has told LBC the NHS is "very well funded" as he refused to answer whether the health service will receive less money after the Chancellor raised the National Insurance threshold.

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Speaking to LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr, John Glen said funding for the NHS is "secure" as he batted away questioning over the impact of the change to the threshold.

From this July, people will be able to earn £12,570 without paying income tax and National Insurance, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday.

The Chancellor says this will amount to a tax cut for employees "worth over £330 a year".

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Andrew quizzed the treasury minister on what this will mean for the NHS, pressing him nine times on whether the health service will receive less money.

Mr Glen refused to say what it will mean for the NHS, claiming the service will be "fully funded".

"The NHS will be fully funded as per the plans by the spending review last October, and this additional levy will deal with some of the significant pressures that we've seen through Covid," he said.

"I'm sorry, I'm struggling here," Andrew replied.

"This tax was going to raise money directly for the NHS and nobody else, there's less money coming in from the tax and you're telling me that's going to make no difference at all. I don't understand. I literally don't understand."

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Mr Glen said they are bringing in the tax as announced in September.

"But what we've introduced today was honouring that manifesto commitment to align the thresholds between paying in national insurance and tax," he said.

Andrew asked again what the fiscal effect of the threshold increase by £3,000 means for the NHS, saying: "In very simple terms, does the change in the threshold mean less money for the NHS or not?"

Mr Glen dodged the question, claiming the NHS is "very well funded" through the spending review, and today's announcement was about "helping people come to terms with the pressures of their household budgets".

He later said the money for the NHS is "secure".

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