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Health Authorities (Budgets)

Volume 981: debated on Monday 17 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what effect his reduction of £125 million in health authorities' budgets by 31 March is having on the services for patients.

Health authority cash limits have not been reduced.This Government have increased cash limits by some £360 million to meet pay awards for which no provision had been made by the previous Administration. It has been for health authorities to decide how to cope with the 2½–3 per cent. squeeze on spending which is the combined effect of the decision of our predecessors not to fund the first £23 million of the excess cost of pay awards, the Budget decision on VAT, and the generally higher level of inflation due to energy costs and other factors.