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Labour wants bank fines to support NHS

25 / 11 / 2014
Labour wants bank fines to support NHSLabour's shadow chancellor has called for the fines paid by the UK's banking industry to be put towards funding the NHS.

In a conference speech, Ed Balls claimed the money should be used for a "wider good" and would prove invaluable to the NHS budget.

Speaking at the Labour Party's east of England regional conference, he highlighted that more than £1 billion had been paid following an investigation into the roles of banks in manipulating foreign exchange rates.

"Under David Cameron, it's getting harder to see a GP, A&E is in crisis and waiting lists are going up again," he said.

"£3 billion has been wasted on a top-down re-organisation while nurses and frontline staff have been lost. And cancer treatment targets have now been missed for three quarters in a row.

"So in next month's Autumn Statement, George Osborne should use £1 billion of the fines from the banks for an immediate boost to our health service."

Mr Balls also stressed that it was vital for reform to take place within the banking sector and called for a need for a "cultural change" to ensure financial firms act in the interest of customers.

The Labour Party is also championing their its NHS Time to Care Fund ahead of next year's general election.

Under the initiative, the additional funds would be raised by introducing the controversial 'mansion tax', bringing in a levy on tobacco firms and closing various tax legislation loopholes.

"This will allow us to deliver 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs. We will guarantee that people will not have to wait more than a week for a cancer test or 48 hours for a GP appointment," Mr Balls said

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