Wednesday, 5 September 2012

The NHS budget IS being cut!

We hear all the time that the NHS budget will increase year on year. A political promise that holds a lot of sway. It reassures patients that their healthcare is safe and secure and won't be cut or rationed.

The NHS budget promise was made in the coalition agreement by Messrs Cameron and Clegg in 2010 - see page 24 here - the first bullet point under 'section 22 - NHS'.

I have discovered though that this promise is not entirely truthful. HM Treasury issue detailed figures on expenditure by each Governmental Department and figures I have discovered show that in 2010-2011 the NHS budget FELL.

The actual NHS budgetary figures can be found on tab 1.9 of this spreadsheet which is downloaded from the official HM Treasury website - a shorter version is copied and pasted here...

It is quite clear that NHS spending has risen enormously in recent years but the promises made by the coalition that the budget is safe in their hands is not true. Yes the country has an enormous deficit but we are more than able to afford increases in the NHS budget (and other public services too). You only have to look at this graph to show the reality of the current budget deficit.

The deficit is nowhere near as bad as politicians make out and is part of the whole 'shock doctrine' ethos this coalition is inflicting on the UK public. If you look at the graph UK national debt was the highest ever when we created the NHS and it is now actually just a fraction of that debt. The real reason we are seeing cuts to the NHS and other public services (with much more yet to come) is due to political dogma and the neoliberal (right wing) belief that public services must shrink and the private sector must flourish, prosper and make huge profits out of illness and healthcare.

It is vital we invest in healthcare to look after all who are unwell and the elderly who absolutely deserve a first class health care service. We already see promises being broken and social care losing funding - an area that hits the elderly the hardest.

Many of these issues will be compounded by the coalition Health and Social Care Act which I have written about in previous blogs - if you feel strongly about these issues then please do sign my NHS Pledge (it only takes 30 seconds) which seeks to protect the NHS and improve it for our children and our children's children.

You can find it here -

Thank you.