“The figure that we're spending is £34 billion - it’s the biggest increase in modern memory in the NHS.”

Boris Johnson, BBC Breakfast

November 19, 2019

Facts

Boris Johnson told the public on BBC Breakfast: “The figure that we're spending is £34 billion - it’s the biggest increase in modern memory in the NHS.” Johnson had made similar claims many times before.

It’s correct that £34 billion had been announced for the NHS, between 2018/19 and 2023/24. However, these figures had not been adjusted for inflation. The government had actually pledged to give the NHS in England £20.5billion over the next five years to 2023/24, when adjusted for inflation. If you do account for inflation, it isn’t the biggest increase—between 2004/05 and 2009/10 the real terms increase was £24 billion. See the full report from FullFact.

Verdict

Johnson’s claim that the increase in health spending was the largest “in modern memory of the NHS” was repeated many times. On each occasion, Johnson’s claim was false. 

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