§ Mr. Ian Stewart
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the average annual real terms percentage increase in funding for the NHS between 1979 and 1997; and what is the equivalent figure for the next three years. 
§ Mr. Milburn
During the years 1979–80 to 1997–98, the annual average real terms increase in National Health Service total net expenditure in England was 3.1 per cent. The annual average real terms increase for 1999–2000 to 2001–2002 is 4.7 per cent.