Financial Times :
Gordon Brown quietly slashed by a third this year’s hospital building and equipment budget in one of his last acts as chancellor.
Prompted by the tightness of the public finances, the new prime minister, who has placed the NHS as his “immediate priority”, cut the capital budget of the English NHS for 2007-08 from £6.2bn to £4.2bn. The move could delay the government’s hospital building and reconfiguration programme in England.
However, Mr Brown avoided equivalent cuts to the Scottish and Welsh NHS budgets even though the funding formula for the UK nations suggests they should have shared the pain. That decision leaves him open to criticism that he favoured patients in his home country.
The Treasury Friday night confirmed the NHS capital budget had been “adjusted”. But it indicated that, although it was not yet published, it would allocate the missing £2bn to spend to English hospitals over three years from 2008-09. No published health spending plans exist for these years yet, so hospitals will not be able to verify that the money is additional.
Well, everyone's been saying public spending is too high. But Mr Union Jack is getting off to a cracking start - by giving the English one last slap in the face as he leaves Number 11.
I can't see this story on Ian Dale or Conservative Home. Who will "speak for England" ?
Ben White Revisited
10 hours ago