The Government has rejected a claim by National leader Simon Bridges that National increased new health funding by more last year than the new Government has done in its first Budget.

New operating health funding has increased by $774 million this Budget, including a $549 million boost for district health boards.

National's new operating funding last year for health was $924 million, including $439 million extra to DHBs. But $347 million of the total was for the new pay equity settlement for care workers.

Without the pay equity element, a direct comparison of National's new money was $551.6 million in 2017 vs $774.32 in 2018.


A spokesman for Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the claim was not true when comparing apples with apples.

But Bridges says it is a fari comparison because the new initiative in this year's Budget to increase the fees of community midwives is in the same part of the Budget documents.

The overall operating heath budget has increased from $16.54 billion last year to $18.22 billion this year.

New capital spending in health this year was $850 million compared to no new allocation last year.

- Audrey Young