Budget fails to tackle workforce shortages and NHS funding, say criticsBMJ 2023; 380 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.p629 (Published 16 March 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;380:p629
- Matthew Limb
Leading doctors, patients’ groups, and health analysts have rounded on the UK chancellor of the exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, for ignoring critical pressures on NHS staffing and funding in his spring budget. They said that Hunt’s failure to publish an NHS workforce plan on 15 March, alongside a financial statement that was billed as boosting work in the wider economy,1 was a damaging own goal.
Hunt announced measures to support people in moving into work, targeting barriers he said were preventing those on benefits, older workers, and those with health conditions who wanted to work from working. He signalled 30 hours of free childcare for every child over the age of 9 months old with working parents by September 2025 and scrapped the cap on the amount that workers can accumulate in pensions savings over a lifetime before they have to pay tax.2