BUDGET IN DEPTH: Health auditor welcomed

Announcing the independent auditor, Brown said it was right to show where the extra billions raised for the NHS were being spent and that it was achieving results.

He said: ‘An annual report will account for the money allocated to the NHS, where it has been spent and what the results of the expenditure have been.’

The ICAEW welcomed the new role, saying: ‘It is vital to demonstrate that the money has been spent wisely, otherwise taxpayers will merely assume that the extra money is disappearing down an even larger plug-hole.’

But the creation of a new auditor could lead to a turf war in Whitehall – the Audit Commission has been responsible for best value reports in local government and the health services.

The commission is understood to have been planning an expansion of its own work within the NHS but could lose out to the new Commission for Health Improvement.

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