“What is the point of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt?”


“Will the Leader of the House ask the Chancellor to make a statement on the fiscal rules? It seems that the Ministry of Justice broke Treasury pay rules for civil servants for a six-month period from last October by increasing the overtime pay rate for prison staff by £5 an hour. The Opposition agree with that increase, but I understand that there are Treasury rules. We need a statement on whether or not there are fiscal rules. We could do with that clarity for the NHS, because our nurses need to be paid.

The cherry-picking season is over. Look at what the Government have done to our health service. The Secretary of State for Health picked a fight with Professor Stephen Hawking, who rightly told him to stop the slide towards privatising the health service—a person who can explain a black hole against a Secretary of State who cannot even recognise a financial black hole. The sustainability and transformation plans are the second reorganisation of the NHS under this Government. There is a crisis in social care, £100 million will be spent on recruiting GPs from abroad, and the health service needs a cash boost of £350 million. After the Government’s defeat in the House of Lords yesterday on their decision to abandon the 18-week target time for treatment, will the Leader of the House please ensure that the Secretary of State comes to the House to explain this shredding of Government policy, because we have had silence from him? Otherwise, what is the point of the Secretary of State?”

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