By Harriet Line, Press Association Political Staff
Theresa May’s figures on extra NHS spending are “so dodgy they belong on the side of a bus”, Jeremy Corbyn has claimed as he urged the Prime Minister to be straight with voters on tax rises to fund the plans.
The Labour leader asked why Mrs May was pushing her own “Mickey Mouse” figures, following the Government’s announcement of a £20.5 billion-a-year boost to the NHS budget.
During Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Corbyn claimed Mrs May had said there would be £600 million a week more being spent on the NHS through a “Brexit dividend”.
He said: “Our net contribution to the European Union is about £8.5 billion a year – £600 million a week is over £30 billion a year.
“Her figures are so dodgy they belong on the side of a bus.
“We do expect that from the Foreign Secretary but why is the Prime Minister pushing her own Mickey Mouse figures?”
Mrs May suggested Mr Corbyn spend more time listening to what she says.
“There will indeed be around £600 million more being spent on the NHS every week in cash terms as a result of a decision taken by this Conservative Government to secure the future of the NHS.
“That will partly be funded by the money we no longer spend on the European Union and as a country we will be contributing a bit more, we will listen to views on that, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer will bring forward that package before the spending review.”
The Labour leader said the funding was “less than is needed just to stand still” and asked why anyone would trust the Government with the NHS.
He said: “The Prime Minister is writing IOUs just to stand still.
“Until this Government can be straight with people where the money is coming from, why should anyone, anyone anywhere, trust them on the NHS?”
Mrs May hit back, saying Labour’s plan does not “add up”.
“Conservatives putting more money into the National Health Service, Labour losing control of the public finances and bankrupting Britain,” she told the Commons.
Earlier in the exchanges, Mr Corbyn asked Mrs May which taxes would be rising.
He said: “There can be no Brexit dividend before 2022, economic growth is the slowest since 2009 – so which taxes are going up?”
Mrs May said a long-term plan for the NHS had been set out, with money no longer sent to the EU available for the health service.
In response to heckles from Opposition MPs, Mrs May quoted Mr Corbyn saying he would “use the funds returned after Brexit” to invest in public services.
Mr Corbyn replied by telling the PM he said the money should be ring-fenced to replace structural funds to regions, agriculture, the fishing industry and research for universities.
Pic by Danny Lawson/PA Wire