Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, has welcomed the Government’s commitment to investing in public services, hailing the vital funding announced for the NHS and local schools in today’s Budget.
The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, announced £6.3billion of additional funding for the NHS, including £3.5 billion that will be invested in upgrading NHS buildings and improving care, and £2.8 billion that will go towards improving A&E performance, reducing waiting times for patients, and of which £335 million will be made available immediately to support treating more people this winter. This is on top of the significant capital funding already delivered to upgrade buildings and facilities to make our health service fit for the future, which has seen record investment in Worcestershire’s hospitals and a new Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit opened this week at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital to alleviate winter pressures on accident and emergency.
The Government has also committed to fund future pay awards as part of a new deal for NHS staff under the Agenda for Change contract, including for nurses, midwives and paramedics and committed that any such funding will be new money from the Treasury in addition to the existing NHS budget.
On education, the Budget offers a £400million in maths and technical education including a £42million investment in teacher training to support high-quality teaching in areas affected by regional productivity and skills disparities. There will also be a £600 pupil premium for schools and sixth form colleges for every additional student taking A-level Maths as part of the Government’s drive to ensure that the next generation have the skills they need to succeed in the new economy. This is in addition to a £27million expansion of the Mastery of Maths initiative, and an £84million investment in upskilling teachers to ensure that every secondary school in the country has a fully qualified GCSE Computer Science teacher.
Speaking after the Budget, Robin said:
“Local residents will know that funding commitments for schools and our NHS have been two of my top priorities for Worcester since I was first elected in 2010, and I am glad to say that today’s Budget continues to deliver on this front.”
“With the new Ambulatory Emergency Care unit opening at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital this week after nearly £1million of investment – helping to ease the pressure on A&E over the winter period – and the record-breaking funding announcement earlier this year of £29 million capital funding for Worcester and Redditch, these additional funding announcements remain extremely welcome.”
“The commitment on pay deals for hard-working NHS staff is also very welcome news. It is important to note that funding for these pay deals will be the result of extra investment, and will not be coming out of existing NHS budgets. I hope this will provide welcome reassurance to our local Trusts in recruiting and filling vacancies.”
“For our schools and colleges, the additional premium to encourage take-up of A-level Maths will go a long way to ensuring that our children have the skills they need to thrive in the modern economy, as will the funding to ensure that every secondary school has a Computer Science teacher. As a centre of excellence for teacher training I hope that our University will carefully analyse the opportunities in this budget.”
“On top of this, £34 million will go towards teaching construction skills like bricklaying and plastering, £30 million will go towards digital courses using Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the apprenticeship levy will continue to help fund high-quality training and job opportunities for school leavers in Worcester as the Government continues to target 3 million apprenticeships nationwide.”
Notes to editors
Headline figures in the budget red book show both health and education resource budgets increasing each year with the overall health budget rising from £119.1bn in 17/18 to £121.9bn in 18/19 and then £124.2bn in 19/20 whilst education rises from £61.3bn in 17/18 to £62.4bn in 18/19 and £63.3bn in 19/20. Record levels of spending are being achieved in each area for each and every year.
For full details of the Budget, see: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/autumn-budget-2017
For more information on Robin’s long-running campaigns on NHS and hospital funding, see:
For Robin’s statements on school funding and apprenticeships, see: