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COVID-19: £14.7billion allocated for NHS and public services
28 April 2020
More than £14billion from the Coronavirus emergency response fund will go towards public services, including the NHS and local authorities involved in the fight against Coronavirus, the HM Treasury confirmed on 13 April 2020.
The funding has included more than £6bn to support health services, free up hospital beds and deliver urgent priorities including acquiring ventilators, diagnostic tests and protective equipment for NHS staff. HM Treasury support will also enable home delivery of medicines to the most vulnerable people in the country, and it has helped support medical and nursing students and retired doctors and nurses to join the front line.
Alongside £1.6bn of new funding for Local Authorities, this health service funding means that HM Treasury has provided £2.9bn to support local services and hospital discharge.
HM Treasury is also working closely with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In addition to funding urgent health priorities on a UK-wide basis, the Treasury is now providing the devolved administrations with almost £2bn from this fund through the Barnett formula.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said: "Our public services and its incredible workers are working with immense resolve and skill to keep us safe. We depend on them, which is why we are doing everything we can to provide our NHS, local authorities and others, with the resources and tools they need to tackle the virus.
"From the start, I’ve been clear our vital public services will get whatever they need to protect this country and its people from Coronavirus. We are delivering on our pledge."
The £14.5 billion of expenditure approved so far includes:
- £6.6bn of support to our health services
- £1.6bn for local authorities
- £0.9bon to cover extra measures such as food packages for extremely clinically vulnerable people who have been advised to shield themselves from the virus at home and do not have a local network of family and friends to drop off provisions
- £3.5bn to ensure vital rail services continue to operate now and, in the future, for those who rely upon them for essential journeys
- £1.0bn for the Scottish Government
- £0.6bn for the Welsh Government
- £0.3bn for the Northern Ireland Executive.
At Budget on 11 March 2020, the Chancellor said he would do everything in his power to help Britain defeat Coronavirus. He initially set aside a £5bn fund as a rapid response, and said that whatever extra resources needed by the NHS and public services would be provided.