WestEndExtra

The independent London newspaper

Surreal Tory claim that ‘fair taxation’ will give NHS extra billions

22 June, 2018

Prime minister Theresa May delivering her speech on new NHS funding at the Royal Free Hospital on Monday

• IT sounded good didn’t it? Theresa May promised an extra £20billion for the NHS. Hurrah! Trebles all round!

She claimed this money will largely come from a Brexit “dividend”. It turns out that far from saving £10bn a year, there is likely to be a hit of £15bn a year to government revenues in addition to the £39-or-so billion leaving bill.

When this was pointed out to her, May had to “fess up” that the money would come from “fair taxation”. Many of us would argue that a Tory promising “fair taxation“ is the epitome of political surrealism.

So we were lied to. I can’t help wondering if the NHS funding lie was designed to draw attention away from the very public lie made to Dominic Grieve in Parliament.

May promised to compromise on his EU amendment and then ditched the key point. Grieve’s amendment was designed to ensure that Parliament had a say in the event of a “no deal”, car-crash Brexit.

Should there be a car-crash Brexit the UK will have to trade under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. It turns out that the NHS may contravene the WTO agreement on subsidies and countervailing measures which outlaws government-provided services and goods.

The EU negotiated an opt-out on our behalf in 1994, which will lapse in March 2019 when we leave. So, the WTO could rule that our NHS is a breach of its rules See www.wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/24-scm.pdf.

Obviously, the Prime Minister knows all about this but decided not to share it with us, yet. Or perhaps she will shed crocodile tears when she patiently explains to us that the NHS has to be abolished because of the nasty WTO.

Is Theresa May incompetent or a serial liar? Who knows? But I wouldn’t trust her to put the cat out, let alone save the NHS.

RICHARD ROSSER
Richmond Grove, N1

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