Rishi Sunak says Wales gets enough funding to deal with the problems in the NHS

Rishi Sunak says Wales has more funding than the NHS in England. Credit: PA

The Prime Minister has said that the Welsh Government has enough funding to deal with problems in the NHS and receives "more funding than the NHS in England."

Political opponents regularly accuse the Conservative UK Government of underfunding Wales and Rishi Sunak was challenged on that by the Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts.

During Prime Minister's questions, she accused the UK Government of "butchering health budgets" and at the same time attacked Labour's running of the Welsh NHS.

She said: "The reality is this: health services in Wales suffer under a combination of mismanagement by Labour and a Westminster funding system which perpetuates poverty.

“The PM used to talk about ‘levelling up’. Will he therefore commit to funding Wales’s public services using a needs-based formula?”

Liz Saville Roberts has attacked both the UK Conservative Government and the Welsh Labour Government for their running of the NHS Credit: PA

In response Rishi Sunak said: "When it comes to funding Wales, as a result of funding from Barnet [the formula used to work out Welsh Government funding] the Welsh Government receives significantly more funding than the NHS in England, but also £1.2 billion of extra funding as a result of the autumn statement. 

"And I say what I said to the leader of the Opposition: this isn't about actually political point scoring.

"The NHS is under pressure in Wales as it is in Scotland and in England, in large part because of the impact of a global pandemic and she would do well to recognise that."

The confrontation in the Commons comes as around 1,500 ambulance workers in Wales go on strike over pay and working conditions for the second time within a month.

At a recent press conference, Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford said NHS staff do deserve more pay but he could not offer it to them.

The Welsh Government says it is currently in talks with unions over a one-off pay award but it has yet to disclose how much that would be.

Mr Drakeford also revealed that the NHS recently experienced its busiest ever day on 27 December last year.

The First Minister said a combination of flu levels, coronavirus and rising cases of Strep A saw unprecedented demand over the Christmas period.

He said there are still pressures across the system as a result of a "very large number" of people waiting to be discharged.

Speaking after the exchange in the Commons, Liz Saville Roberts said, “The current funding settlement leaves Wales with a block grant which is barely able to keep our public services running effectively and next to no real power to invest in the sort of projects Wales needs to be able to transform our economy.

“A fair funding settlement would be one based on need, reflecting the nature of our population, and sufficient to break the poverty cycle.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “In Wales, we spend 14% more per person on health and social care than in England as a result of the choices made by Ministers. Next year (2023-24), the overall budget for health and social care will be £10.1bn.

“If our budget had just kept pace with the growth in the economy since 2010-11, it would be £3.5bn (or 15%) higher by 2024-25. Instead, our spending power has been eroded by decisions taken the UK Government, including a decade of austerity, and record levels of inflation.”

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