Jacob Rees-Mogg suggests ending NHS austerity amid winter crisis

Posted On: 
16th January 2018

Jacob Rees-Mogg has said more cash may have to be ploughed into the NHS as the service struggles to cope with winter pressures. 

Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg has suggested NHS funding may have to increase
Credit: 
PA

Speaking on his new ConservativeHome podcast, the prominent Brexiteer said that limiting annual NHS funding increases to 1% may not be sustainable.

He said: "In reality, austerity in the NHS for seven years of 1% real increases, which is against what has happened in its previous history and is going to be very hard to continue with, however much there are limited resources."

The intervention comes after 55,000 hospital operations had to postponed this month to cope with increased demand.

The Prime Minister apologised to those affected but also insisted that the NHS was “better prepared for this winter than ever before”.

Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth blamed years of “Tory underfunding and cuts,” saying they had “left our health service more vulnerable than ever before”.

Elsewhere in the interview, Mr Rees-Mogg also hinted that he would support a change in housing policy that could include building on the green belt.

Some protected areas were actually “pretty ugly scrub land,” that could be developed, he said.

The North East Somerset MP added: “I recognise that even in my own constituency we are going to face these difficult choices”.