Paying NHS staff more money will improve the UK’s economy massively.
That’s the educated opinion of Tax Research UK’s Richard Murphy, and who are we to argue with him?
In his latest video clip, Mr Murphy explains that the Tory government’s decision to offer only a derisory one per cent pay increase – less than the rate of inflation – is actually harmful to its own hope of economic recovery.
The Tories have based their offer on a false belief that the NHS does not contribute to the economy. This is easily disproved because a person who is fit and healthy is clearly more able to create profit than somebody who is ill or injured.
The benefit to the economy provided by the NHS has actually been measured and it seems that for every £1 invested in the health service, the economy benefits by between £2 and £4.
That’s a hell of a markup!
Think about it. Most supermarkets operate on the basis of profits between – what – five and 15 per cent, if I recall correctly. This is a profit of up to four HUNDRED per cent.
In a nation that badly needs to re-establish its economy after Covid-19 – not to mention Brexit – that’s not to be sniffed at, but sniffing at it is exactly what Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and the other Tories are doing.
At the moment there are 80,000 staff vacancies in the health service because the wages aren’t enough to compensate for the long hours, stress and heartbreak involved.
This, along with the ongoing effects of Covid-19, means that patients aren’t getting the treatment – even the routine work – they need and there is a knock-on effect for the economy because they are being prevented from getting back into it and producing the content of work they should be able to provide at the standard they are expected to.
“It’s as much as we can give,” said Boris Johnson. But this is sheer short-sightedness. A five per cent pay rise, as suggested by Mr Murphy, would pay for itself as the benefits spread through the economy.
This Writer is left wondering whether Johnson is deliberately sabotaging the health service in order to make privatisation more acceptable; if it can’t recruit staff, then perhaps it should be handed over to private firms.
The trouble with that is, private firms won’t pay any better because they’ll be busily grubbing for profits for their shareholders.
And they won’t provide the service the NHS offers because most people simply won’t be able to afford their prices.
So the economy will suffer a much greater downturn as increasing numbers of people fall into illnesses from which they simply won’t be able to get up.
It is economic idiocy.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s Mr Murphy:
One part of the clip that I don’t understand is where he says the NHS is perceived to be free. It isn’t and never has been.
Originally, the cost of the service was said to be paid by National Insurance. Nowadays I think that is not true – or certainly not as true as in the past. Much of the cost is now said to come from general taxation (although we know that tax doesn’t actually work like that; the money taken back by the government is more correctly said to be recycled into use to pay for the NHS).
Either way, the NHS is at least partially supported with payments from the general public. It isn’t free and never has been.
Isn’t it funny how that disappears from the minds of politicians whenever it becomes convenient?
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