Labour pours scorn over autumn statement for ignoring sick and old

John McDonnell accused the chancellor of failing the sick and elderly after his autumn statement gave no additional money to the NHS or social care, despite warnings from the opposition party that both are at a tipping point.

The shadow chancellor said he feared a crisis in funding and care over this Christmas, after Hammond offered £23bn for infrastructure but no additional help for health services.

“Tonight, many elderly people will remain trapped in their homes, isolated, and lacking the care they need because of continuing cuts to funding,” McDonnell told the Commons in his response to the autumn statement. “You can’t cut social care without hitting the NHS …

“Across the country, hospitals are facing losing their A&Es, losing their maternity units, losing their specialist units. This Tory government is failing patients and failing dedicated NHS staff.

“It is the first time healthcare spending per head has declined since the NHS was created.”

Hammond mentioned the NHS in his autumn statement speech once to confirm the government’s commitment to spending an extra £10bn a year by the end of this parliament. There was no mention of social care and no additional money for either, despite warnings that shortages in funding are pushing hospitals to a tipping point.

Full story in The Guardian 23 November 2016