In March 2015 George Osborne handed Manchester’s unelected interim Mayor full control of its £6bn a year health budget as part of his flagship Devolution for Cities policy.
This gave the Manchester Metro Mayor the right to divert funds away from GPs & hospitals and spend it on Social Care instead — as of April 1st this year.
George Osborne has stated he wants all UK cities to follow the same model.
John McDonnell has referred to this as ‘outsourcing the cuts’.
Campaigners are asking whether Osborne will allow Sadiq Khan the chance to do in London what the Chancellor is advocating for every other UK city.
Khan’s campaign team were asked to address this matter in November:
a. Do you believe the entire Health Budget for London should be devolved to the Mayor’s portfolio — or do you believe there are some things which should remain the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Health, DCLG, DWP or local council?
b. Please could you state which aspects of the Health Budget & Other Health-related responsibilities such as for example Land Ownership you think ought to be devolved to the Mayor, and which aspects retained by the relevant Secretary of State or local council?
Despite reminders and assurances they never responded.
This Evening Standard piece contains some clues :
London's health service is facing “imminent collapse” after a huge surge in budget deficits, Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan claimed today. Twenty-one out of the 38 trusts are forecast to overspend this year, according to official figures that show the total deficit headed towards half a billion pounds over the past five years. London’s biggest hospital, Bart’s, is set to run a record deficit of £134.9 million, which would be the biggest in the history of the NHS.
Will Sadiq Khan and George Osborne co-operate or will London become a battleground for Osborne’s bid for the Tory leadership?
Does the Devolution for Cities policy decentralise power or does it tighten Central Government control?