We have seen doctors take industrial action for the first time in nearly 40 years. Unprecedented stuff and it shows that there must be real problems with relations between the coalition government and the medical profession.
We know that every profession in the NHS opposed the coalition Health Act but the government forced it through with the vital support of the Liberal Democrats.
This pension dispute though has a more sinister reason for it.
It is well known that the NHS will be moving towards a much more commercialised business style ethos - mostly thanks to the Health Act. Private companies know that the single biggest expense in a business is the staffing costs. Following on from that are the cost of pensions to the employers. The coalition have realised this and are now seeking to impose a pension deal on ALL NHS staff that increases their costs and reduces the employers costs.
The evidence is in the speech by the Rt Hon Danny Alexander when he states "The new pensions will be substantially more affordable to alternative providers...".
What he means by alternative providers are private companies. Private companies that are desperate to cash in on the NHS brand and grab a part of the £120bn of taxpayers money being spent on healthcare.
This is the reason we need to fight the coalition pension changes. It is the reason we need to fight for the NHS. Commercialisation of the NHS will be damaging to patients, damaging to the NHS and
ultimately lead to an inequitable healthcare service - one I do not wish to see in our country.
This revealing quote by Mr Alexander is the real reason why the coalition are attacking NHS pensions.