Autumn Statement: Government allowing North Devon's health service to crumble

22 Nov 2023
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt - Credit: Rory Arnold / No 10 Downing Street

Liberal Democrats in North Devon have accused the Government of being 'content with local health services crumbling' after Wednesday's Autumn Statement failed to provide additional funding for local health services.

Before the Autumn Statement, the party had been calling for the Chancellor to invest in a robust NHS rescue plan as ever-growing treatment backlogs have stalled the economy, damaging both growth and quality of life. 

These measures would have included reversing Conservative cuts to vital public health services in North Devon and delivering 8,000 more GPs across the country to create 65 million more appointments every year.

Additionally, the Autumn Statement did not set out a plan to fund a new hospital in North Devon, despite being previously promised. 

It comes as the Liberal Democrats have warned that treatment backlogs are damaging economic growth. A poll commissioned by the party showed that one in seven people had taken a significant length of time off work whilst waiting for treatment on the NHS.

Apart from ignoring the crisis in our health service, the Chancellor proposed tax changes that will not 'touch the sides' after years of unfair tax hikes that Selaine Saxby has consistently voted in favour of. 

Ian Roome, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for North Devon, said: "This Conservative Government seems completely content to sit back and allow North Devon's local health services to crumble. 

"They are either so out of touch they cannot see how many people are struggling to access healthcare, or they simply do not care.

"The Autumn Statement was an opportunity to get people off NHS waiting lists and allow them to return to work so we can rescue our flatlining economy. 

"Instead we got empty promises, stale nonsense and a tax cut that's not even a drop in the ocean compared to what people have already paid."