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Press release

The King’s Fund responds to the Chancellor’s spring Budget

Commenting on the spring Budget statement, Sarah Woolnough, Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, said:  

‘The NHS fared better than some other public services in today’s Budget. Health service finance directors will breathe a small sigh of relief that the NHS revenue funding announced today will cover the ongoing costs of last year’s pay package for staff, although we are yet to see what funding will be available to cover this year’s pay deals. 

‘The government is right to acknowledge that outdated IT and technology is one of the barriers to NHS productivity. The announcement of £3.4 billion capital investment over three years is a welcome first step to increasing efficiency. 

‘The investment will kick in next year, and it will then take time for the funding to translate into real improvements for patients, as staff need time to embed new technology and make changes to how services are delivered. Ministers will also need to resist the urge to give with one hand and take away later with the other – raiding NHS capital and technology budgets to cover day-to-day running costs has become an unfortunate trend in recent years. 

‘The omission of funding for the adult social care sector raises serious concerns amid a bleak financial outlook for local government. The government has said it will deliver reforms to the costs people pay for their care by October 2025 but, so far, no funding has been made available to ready the sector, which raises questions about delays to the current timetable.  

‘The Chancellor reconfirmed 1% real term growth for public services for the next parliament. With growing demand for services, higher costs and outdated infrastructure, this will require continued tough choices for public health, health care and social care for the years ahead.  

‘The Budget contained a new tax on vapes and an increase in tax on tobacco. One of the most effective things the government could do to curb harm from smoking is to quickly bring forward the planned legislation to introduce a phased ban on the sale of tobacco.’ 

Notes to editors

For further information, or to request an interview, please contact the Press and Public Affairs team on 020 7307 2585.

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.

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