To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what has been the average annual percentage increase at 1987–88 prices in National Health Service expenditure in Wales (a) since 1978–79 and (b) 1973–74 to 1978–79.
Between 1978–79 and 1987–88 expenditure in real terms has increased by 36·3 per cent. giving an average annual percentage increase of 4 per cent. and between 1974–75 and 1978–79 by 9·5 per cent., giving an average annual percentage increase of 2·4 per cent. The information requested is not available prior to 1974–75 because in 1974 there was a National Health Service reorganisation which included the transfer of a whole range of services including school health and ambulance and community health services from local authorities to the National Health Service.The right hon. Gentleman was perhaps wanting to compare the performance of the two Governments. I have only been able to give him the figures from the first to the last year of the Labour Government which, as he sees, shows an annual increase of 2·4 per cent. per annum. The equivalent figures for the Conservative Government are from 1979–80 to 1987–88. During this period there has been an increase in real terms of 36·1 per cent., giving an annual average percentage increase of 4·5 per cent.