As Community Care went to press
chancellor Gordon Brown was expected to announce the scale of the
increases in spending on health for 2003-4 to 2006-7.
The Budget was also due to reveal initiatives
to tackle poverty, including the new child tax credit and working
tax credit, a top-up for pensioners with modest savings as well as
guaranteed minimum pension increases, and an extension of the New
Deal for the long-term unemployed. National insurance increases are
expected to be announced to pay for the spending.
The Budget was due to be accompanied by the
publication of a report into long-term funding of the NHS.
Speaking at a press conference two days before
the Budget was announced, Milburn said: “As a government, we
recognise that the limitations of the UK’s health services have not
been the system of funding from general taxation but the level of
funding from general taxation.”
Local Government Association chairperson
Jeremy Beecham and NHS Confederation chairperson Dianne Jeffrey
have written to ministers asking them to ensure that “local
government as well as the NHS has real sustained increases in