UKIP Health Spokesman Louise Bours MEP responds to proposals by George Osborne for Councils to control NHS budgets:
"What the Tories are proposing for Manchester is a recipe for yet another disastrous postcode lottery in the health system. This is a clear example of politicians making health policy not on health grounds, but because they believe it will win them votes.
"It cannot be right that the purse strings for Greater Manchester's health will be controlled by 645 councillors in the area, just a handful less than the number of MPs in the Commons. What qualifications do they have for this role? Who will be accountable? Who can we blame when it all goes wrong? It will simply lead to the kind of unfairness we have already seen in the Scottish system, for instance, when residents there get free prescriptions for instance, while the rest of the country does not.
"Councillors too, being politicians, will use the money to promote their own electioneering health policies, instead of really doing that is right for the people in their area.
"UKIP has long argued that health and social care should be merged, and for better scrutiny and accountability at a local level to ensure the right decisions about local health needs are made and patients are protected. This will not help: we need less politicians in the health service, not more.