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Wasn’t it revealing when Jeremy Hunt told ITV’s The Agenda that voters did not believe the Tories had a plan to bridge the £8 billion NHS funding gap?
He blamed media reporting of the Conservative Party’s claims; it is more likely that he himself is to blame.
This very blog had cause to slap him down, as recently as January this year.
He had claimed – falsely – that the number of operations performed on behalf of the NHS had increased by a million.
He had claimed – falsely – that the Tories had brought in 13,000 more clinical staff (they would have started training under Labour).
He had claimed that the NHS was rated top in the world – but his information came from 2013, when the changes wrought by his forerunner Andrew Lansley’s infamous Health and Social Care Act 2012, which introduced privatisation and created the funding problem currently being experienced, were only just beginning to be felt.
Probably the biggest whopper – and certainly the most pertinent to the current issue – was his claim that the Tories had found £2 billion of additional funding for frontline services, “backed by a strong economy”.
This was a lie. None of the funding was new money, therefore it had nothing to do with the economy.
In fact, £1.3 billion came from “savings” in other government departments (in other words, cuts), and the remaining £700 million was already Department of Health money – it had simply been diverted to frontline services. None of it could have come from economic growth as Income Tax receipts had remained static at around their pre-crash level.
It should be no surprise to Mr… to Jeremy that nobody believes him in the wake of such a list of howlers – and these are from a short period in January this year!
Here’s a promise about the NHS that is far more likely to be true:
It is also true that the ongoing A&E crisis could have been avoided, but the Coalition Government ignored the warning signs.
Jeremy isn’t good enough for the job. For the health of the nation, we need to give him the sack.
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