York Conservatives Group Leader and Councillor for Strensall ward, Paul Doughty, who is Chair of City of York’s Health Scrutiny Committee has given “welcome encouragement to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak pledging a £30 Billion package to help the UK economy in response to the Coronavirus and recognition of the challenges this could bring to the NHS as well as further pressure on our High Streets. A fiscally prudent Conservative Government has meant, as a country, we are better able to react to the unexpected pressures on the economy and Health Service that such an unpredictable virus brings.
It is sensible housekeeping that has meant the Chancellor is able to allocate £5 Billion in an emergency response for our NHS, with Councils receiving a share of the fund to support social care. It remains to be seen what this will mean at local levels but this additional headroom in budgets means that our health systems can target where this extra investment is most needed. The outbreak could bring significant short term impact and we must be ready to protect the most vulnerable in society. The Chancellor’s commitment to do “whatever it takes” for the NHS gives reassurance and comes on top of the long term promise of 50,000 more nurses and new hospitals.”
Elsewhere in the budget announcements, Councillor Doughty is “pleased our commitment in taxing non-UK property buyers through stamp duty means we can be hopeful that the Government’s commitment to ending rough sleeping in this Parliament is supported, with an additional £643 Million pledged to help see several thousand people off the streets across the country and into permanent accommodation. I am also delighted to see an immediate positive impact of leaving the EU, that we are now able to pursue our own policies which will see the ‘tampon tax’ abolished with no VAT whatsoever on women’s sanitary products from January next year, easing this most basic of health inequalities.”