The declare: We pay extra on debt curiosity than on NHS pay.
Actuality Test verdict: In the event you use the Workplace for Price range Accountability’s headline determine for debt curiosity then we truly spend extra on NHS pay.
With nurses demonstrating in Parliament Sq. towards the pay cap this week, Prime Minister Theresa Could was requested by Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn about whether or not public sector employees might be paid extra.
She replied by blaming the final Labour authorities for the quantity of debt the nation has, saying: “On account of the choices the Labour Social gathering took in authorities we now must pay extra on debt curiosity than on NHS pay.”
Actuality Test requested Downing Road for the figures to again this up and have been instructed that in 2016-17 debt curiosity prices have been anticipated to have been £49.1bn whereas NHS employees prices the identical yr have been £48.1bn.
Let us take a look at these figures in flip.
The debt curiosity prices determine comes from the Workplace for Price range Accountability’s (OBR) economic and fiscal outlook from the time of the Price range in March.
The tough factor with this determine is that the OBR comes up with two numbers relying on whether or not or not you depend what’s referred to as the Asset Buy Facility (APF).
As a part of its makes an attempt to stimulate the financial system, the Financial institution of England has purchased a considerable amount of UK authorities bonds.
The federal government has to pay curiosity on these bonds, so it makes curiosity funds to the Financial institution of England.
However as soon as 1 / 4, the Financial institution of England returns these curiosity funds to the federal government.
The OBR’s headline determine does not depend the cash which has been returned as a part of authorities spending. In 2016-17 it was £36.0bn.
The one utilized by Theresa Could ignores the actual fact the cash was returned to authorities coffers, so totals £49.1bn.
The determine for NHS pay is a surprisingly troublesome one to provide a definitive reply to.
The quantity Downing Road gave comes from the Division of Well being annual report and accounts.
The determine of £48.1bn is for all completely employed employees of the departmental group, which implies it contains individuals working full-time for the NHS in England in addition to these working for the Division of Well being and arm’s size our bodies comparable to Public Well being England. It contains employer nationwide insurance coverage contributions and pension contributions.
It doesn’t embody anybody working for the NHS in Scotland, Wales or Northern Eire as a result of employees there are paid by the devolved administrations.
It additionally doesn’t embody anybody employed by way of an company, on a short lived contract, or most employees working in GP surgical procedures.
We requested NHS Digital to provide you with a determine for less than the salaries of NHS England employees and so they gave us the remarkably exact determine of £39,450,395,739.60, i.e. about £39.5bn.
NHS Digital warns that the determine is decrease than it must be as a result of it excludes knowledge for 2 hospital trusts and likewise doesn’t embody maternity pay or sick pay. As with the Division of Well being figures, it additionally doesn’t embody figures for the NHS outdoors England or for GP practices.
However even this determine is greater than the quantity spent on debt curiosity when the APF is taken into consideration.