Calls for Budget to boost police and health spending

30 Oct 17

The chancellor is facing calls to increase government spending on the NHS and the police ahead of next month’s Budget.

Sadiq Khan, mayor of London and leading health and care organisations, this morning made pleas to Philip Hammond for increased funding.

Khan warned that police officer numbers in the capital could drop below 27,500 by 2021 – the lowest since 2002 and a 26% drop in officer numbers per head of population since 2010.

The mayor said violent crime was rising in London and highlighted an increase in counter terrorism operations following four deadly attacks this year.

Khan said: “If the chancellor does not use next month’s Budget to end the long-term cuts to policing and put public safety first, then we will have no choice but to reduce our frontline.”

The mayor has increased the council tax precept for the Metropolitan Policy –raising an extra £11m – but stressed that without support from the Treasury the capital would be less safe.

This comes after the government announced that prison and police officers would receive a pay increase above the 1% public sector cap.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimated that scrapping the cap across the public sector would cost the government £6bn a year by 2019-20.

Meanwhile, the NHS Confederation together with medical royal colleges, social services directors, leading charities involved in health and care, university hospitals and Carers UK have written to Hammond.

A letter urged the government to rethink current spending plans for 2018-19 and 2019-20.

NHS Confederation chief exectuvie Niall Dickson said the letter was a “genuine cry for help” from those who are responsible for health and care services, which are in a “fragile state.”

He added: “The government is understandably distracted by Brexit, but if it fails to address the points in this letter, there will be a political price, on top of the price already being paid by those who rely on these services.

“Without further funding today’s perilous state will become tomorrow’s tragedy”.

Earlier this month, health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, suggested the pay cap in the NHS had been “scrapped”.

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