» Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pre-Budget Report

Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned that the rise in National Insurance Contributions (NICs) could undermine his commitment to protecting frontline services such as the NHS, the PMS said that we were focused on continuing to invest in the NHS; the Pre- Budget Report identified 10 billion of efficiency savings that would meet new spending pressures. We have said that we would ring-fence certain services and the NHS was one of them. The impact of NICs was on people earning over 20,000 and a very large number of people did not fall into that category. More than 50 per cent of the tax burden was spread across 2 per cent of taxpayers.

Put that the NHS would lose money as a result of NICs, the PMS said that the NHS was a frontline service that would be protected. Savings had already been identified and that money would be put to use in protecting frontline services.

Asked if the 10 billion from efficiency savings would go to protecting the NHS or to paying off the deficit, the PMS said that savings had already been identified that would contribute to paying off the deficit; 12 in savings through Smarter Government, spending programme savings and the reduced cost of public sector pay and pensions. The budgets of individual departments had not yet been set, but we had made it clear that frontline services would be protected. For more details speak to the Treasury and individual departments.

Asked what the Prime Minister had to say about the charge that the rise in incapacity benefit announced yesterday had been brought forward so as to gain votes before the election, the PMS said that it had been a purely economic decision; the Chancellor made clear this morning that this decision was to do with the negative rate of inflation. For details it was best to speak to the Treasury.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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