On Thursday in the House of Lords, John Roger Roberts the Liberal Democratic Peer who is also a well recognised Methodist Church leader asked this very reasonable question. He is referred to as Lord Roberts of Llandudno. He was presumably responding to the call from Boris Johnson and his team during the Referendum campaign when they were calling for £350m a week to be spent on the NHS if we voted to depart from the EU. Initially it was not clear why John was only asking for £250m a week but that sum would certainly be very helpful for our nation at the moment. However the answer which came from Syed Kamall who is the Health Minister in the House of Lords and who is referred to as Lord Kamall then helped to unpack one possible reason that John was only asking for £250m rather than £350m. Here is his question and the response from Syed
John Roberts: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether an additional £250 million a week has become available for the NHS since the UK’s departure from the EU; and if so, whether they will provide a breakdown of how this has been spent.
Syed Kamall: Detail on overall National Health Service spending will be available in annual reports and accounts for 2020/21 in due course. In September an agreement was reached with Her Majesty’s Treasury to provide a further £15.7 billion to the NHS over three years from April 2022 to March 2025. This funding comes on top of the historic long-term settlement for the NHS, which will see NHS funding increase by £33.9 billion by 2023/24 and was announced prior to the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union.
So not only was this a sum that was set out before we left the EU but also £15.7bn over 3 years is £5.2bn per year and £100m each week so it is presumably the reason that John Roberts was asking for the additional £250m each week to meet up with the £350m that Johnson promised way back in 2016 and which we now need an answer for!