“Let’s be clear. With inflation and prices sky-rocketing, this policy will still represent a real terms cut. NHS doctors and nurses will be expected to do more with less, under brutal working conditions.”
By Just Treatment
In today’s (November 17th) Autumn Statement Jeremy Hunt & Rishi Sunak have unleashed a new wave of austerity upon the British people and our public services. They claim to be “putting the NHS first” with a £3.3bn funding increase. But in reality, this is a real terms cut – here’s why.
The context for this budget is that our health service is already at breaking point. After 12 years of Conservative governments, we’ve got millions on waiting lists, overwhelmed ambulance services, and underpaid and overworked staff leaving in their thousands
This NHS crisis has been years in the making. A report by the Health Foundation revealed that the UK has spent around 20% less per person on health each year than similar European countries over the past decade. That’s a gap of £40bn.
Hunt & Sunak know that the public want more investment in the NHS, proper pay for staff & an end to privatisation. Under this pressure, they agreed to not cut health spending – but their funding increase is just 2%, and the NHS will be expected to find “efficiencies” in its budget.
Let’s be clear. With inflation and prices sky-rocketing, this policy will still represent a real terms cut. NHS doctors and nurses will be expected to do more with less, under brutal working conditions, and it’s patients who will pay the price with our health and even our lives.
Jeremy Hunt himself admitted that the NHS is “on the brink of collapse”. He chaired the parliamentary committee which produced a report highlighting “the greatest workforce crisis” in the history of the NHS. Yet as Chancellor he offers no solutions to these existential threats.
Hunt has also appointed Patricia Hewitt as a NHS special advisor. In 2008 Hewitt was special consultant to one of the world’s largest chemists, Alliance Boots. Hewitt also became a special adviser to private company Cinven, who paid £1.4billion for Bupa’s UK hospitals.
Across the country, millions of people are struggling to feed their kids or pay rent. Now the government is about to pile more pain on us all – and make us pay for an economic crisis caused by their reckless policies over the last 12 years.
There is a fairer & completely workable solution: taxing big corporations & the richest in society to fund vital public services we all rely on. During the COVID crisis, some people got very rich whilst our NHS crumbled & millions suffered. It’s time to redistribute that wealth.
Enough is enough. Together, we must demand that the government stops putting the wealth of the super-rich ahead of our lives. We are a movement of NHS patients fighting for the fully-funded & truly public health service we all need and deserve.
- This article was originally published by Just Treatment on November 17th, 2022.
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