MPs debated the NHS and sustainable development goals

28 January 2015

MPs debated Government spending and the National Health Service on Wednesday 28 January in the House of Commons. This debate was the first of two to take place on subjects chosen by the Opposition. The second debate was on sustainable development goals.

Government spending and the NHS

The debate was moved by Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Chris Leslie. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Dr Daniel Poulter, responded on behalf of the Government.

Motion for debate

MPs debated the following motion:

"That this House notes comments from leading doctors and nurses that the NHS is in crisis under this Government, which has wasted £3 billion on a reckless reorganisation; believes an extra £2.5 billion a year should be invested in the health service, including to fund an additional 20,000 nurses and 8,000 GPs, by raising additional revenue from closing tax loopholes, a levy on tobacco companies and a tax on properties worth over £2 million; further notes that the Office for Budget Responsibility has said that the Government’s spending plans in the Autumn Statement would return public spending to a share of national income last seen in the late 1930s, before there was an NHS, and a level which is incompatible with the Government’s claims to be able to protect the NHS; recognises that only four OECD countries have total government expenditure at 35 per cent or less of GDP and that all of these countries have significantly higher charging as a share of overall national health spending than in the UK; and calls on the Government to reconsider the plans set out in the Autumn Statement for even deeper spending cuts, which the head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said could involve a fundamental reimagining of the role of the state."

The motion was negatived on division (Division no.143, Ayes 228, Noes 298).

Sustainable development goals

The debate was moved by Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, Mary Creagh. The Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, responded on behalf of the Government.

Motion for debate

MPs debated the following motion:

"That this House recognises that 2015 is an historic year for development as the countries of the world come together to negotiate the binding climate change agreement at the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals; believes it is unacceptable that more than one billion people still live in extreme poverty on less than $1.25 a day; notes that the effects of climate change will be most severe in some of the world’s poorest countries; further recognises that the UK has a leading role to play in these negotiations; regrets that the Government failed to bring forward legislation to enshrine in law the commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on international aid as set out in the Coalition Agreement; further regrets that this Government has failed to support standalone Sustainable Development Goals on health and climate change; and calls on the Government to show global leadership on tackling the causes of poverty inequality and climate change.

The motion was negatived on division (Division No. 144, Ayes 200, Noes 290).

Related information

About Opposition day debates

Opposition days are days allocated in the House of Commons in each session for the discussion of subjects chosen by the Opposition.

Seventeen days are at the disposal of the Leader of the Opposition, the leader of the largest opposition party, to decide which matters are debated. Three days are usually divided between the other opposition parties.

The Opposition generally use them to raise questions of policy and administration. Frequently, two separate subjects are debated on an opposition day.

Watching Opposition day debates from the public gallery

UK residents and overseas visitors can watch proceedings in the House of Commons by visiting the public gallery.

Image: iStock

This article was produced by the Commons Digital Outreach Team. Follow the @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber.

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