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IFS: 'We have not said' Brexit will lead to £8bn for NHS

The IFS contradicted Michael Gove's claims saying a Brexit will leave less money for the NHS. Credit: PA

The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has rejected Leave campaigner Michael Gove's claim that the body had said leaving the EU would free up £8 billion to spend on the NHS.

In a statement, the IFS said "we have not said that," and clarified its actual assessment of the likely public finance implications.

"We conclude that the net UK contribution to the EU over the next few years is indeed likely to be about £8 billion a year, £8 billion which would become available for other things were we to leave".

"However we also point out that even a small negative effect of just 0.6% on national income from leaving the EU would damage the public finances by more than that £8 billion," it added.

There is virtual unanimity among economic forecasters that the negative economic effect of leaving the EU would be greater than that.

That is why we conclude that leaving the EU would not, as Michael Gove claims we said, leave more money to spend on the NHS. Rather it would leave us spending less on public services, or taxing more, or borrowing more.

– Institute of Fiscal Studies

Vote Leave chief executive Matthew Elliott hit back, saying the UK only got back half of its £350 million-a-week contribution to the bloc, adding: "We reject the predictions of doom by the EU-funded IFS."

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