Tag Archives: lure

NHS Wales should be praised for employing agency nurses to keep care standards high

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The facts about health service pay: If NHS Wales is having to employ agency staff, perhaps it is because the Conservative Government does not provide enough funding for NHS employees. Maybe this is why so many have been lured abroad by higher pay and better standards of living.

A Freedom of Information request by the Welsh Conservatives has revealed that NHS Wales had to spend £190 million on agency doctors and nurses in the last four years. Shame on NHS Wales, right?

Well, no. This merely demonstrates the cack-handed way the Conservatives have been running the health service since taking office as part of the Coalition Government in 2010.

Does anybody remember reports last year that the Conservative-led Coalition Government had dumped 4,000 senior nurses since 2010, considering them to be “disposable” and “a quick way to save money”?

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said at the time: “We are facing a Europe-wide shortage of nursing staff and the last thing the NHS should be doing at this time is treating its highly experienced staff as disposable.

“We need to be doing everything we can to retain the skills we have in the NHS rather than using them as a quick and easy way to make savings.”

These words clearly fell on deaf ears in the Department of Health, which continued to cut nursing staff. Cuts in health spending in England are mirrored, via the Barnett formula, in funding provided to the devolved health services elsewhere in the UK, meaning that the Welsh Government has had to reduce money provided for other services in order to address the cut in spending – and service standard – caused by Tory changes.

That has taken several years to accomplish – as this blog has made clear in previous articles. The Westminster government’s grant to Wales has been cut by a massive 10 per cent since 2010.

And what has happened to our highly-qualified NHS staff members in the meantime? It seems they have been attracted abroad by foreign health services that treat their workforce with more respect.

Vox Political commenter karenmarieuk, responding to a recent article, told us: “My daughter now lives in South Africa and is treated by British staff at both her GP surgery and her local hospital.”

She asked: “Why do our health care professionals have to emigrate to earn the respect they deserve? Our nursing staff are canvassed regularly by Australia, being offered incentives such as housing and vastly improved lifestyles as well as pay that puts the UK to shame! This is just one country from many.

“When, I wonder, will the UK stop this mass exodus and try keeping staff here?”

When indeed? Never, under a Conservative government.

The Welsh Tories have shot themselves in the foot (again) with their ridiculous claims following this FoI request. The total amount spent on agency staff by NHS Wales comes to 1/120 of funding every year, to be compared with the 10 per cent cut from Conservative and Conservative-led Westminster governments.

Conservative politics has caused the problem, not a Labour-run health service.

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Conservative MP faces claims he helped Ukip candidate target Labour voters | Politics | The Guardian

Claims that UKIP is just a wing of the Conservative Party intended to distract Labour voters away from their natural constituency are correct, it seems.

The UKIP candidate in this story had known the Conservative candidate for 30 years and was clearly on extremely good terms with him. The suggestion that they were sharing information in order to beat Labour is an offence against democracy.

If the allegations are true, is this an isolated case? If not, then the election result is thrown into doubt.

However: We have a Conservative Government. Even if half the seats in the country were won by illegitimate means, nothing would be done about it.

Hampshire constabulary are looking into claims that Royston Smith, the new Conservative MP for Southampton Itchen, handed the constituency’s Ukip candidate intelligence and a specially designed leaflet to help him target potential Labour/Ukip swing voters.

Former Ukip candidate Kim Rose claims that two months before polling day Smith handed him an envelope marked confidential containing about 55 pages with maps, local election results broken down by area and addresses for traditional Labour voters who had indicated to Tory canvassers they were likely to support Ukip.

Labour lost the seat to the Conservatives by 2,316 votes after holding it for 23 years. Rose says he used the detailed information to instruct his campaign and claims he can thank it for many of the 4,000 votes he took from Labour.

The former Ukip candidate also claims that the new Conservative MP, whom he has known for about 30 years, handed him a leaflet template attacking Labour’s record on immigration that he recommended Rose distribute in the areas of the constituency he highlighted as being home to potential Labour/Ukip swing voters.

Smith admits to giving Rose documents and advice for his campaign, but denies giving him canvassing data. He also denies giving the Ukip candidate the anti-Labour leaflet, though the Conservative party admits that the leaflet came from somebody working in the constituency’s Conservative campaign and said they were investigating.

Source: Conservative MP faces claims he helped Ukip candidate target Labour voters | Politics | The Guardian

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UKIP on tax: Big boost for the rich – more poverty for the poor

Speech: Nigel Farage addresses the party faithful at Doncaster racecourse. Does anyone else think he bears a striking resemblance to Adolf Hitler at Nuremberg?

Speech: Nigel Farage addresses the party faithful at Doncaster racecourse. Does anyone else think he bears a striking resemblance to Adolf Hitler at Nuremberg?

It seems the UK Independence Party has decided to lure blue-collar workers away from Labour and the Conservatives by promising to push their faces even more firmly into the dirt.

The party’s tax policies, unveiled at UKIP’s conference today (Friday) offer huge benefits to top earners while threatening fewer services to those at the bottom.

At the moment, UK citizens don’t pay tax unless they earn more than £10,000 per year, then they pay a basic rate of 20 per cent on earnings up to £41,865. From £41,866 to £150,000, 40 per cent is payable, and an ‘additional rate’ of 45 per cent is paid on anything over £150,000.

UKIP would raise the tax-free personal allowance to £13,500, with the basic rate being increased to cover earnings up to £44,000. Then the 40p rate would be cut to 35p for people earning between £44,000 and £55,000, and those earning more would pay 40p, with the ‘additional rate’ scrapped.

Huge benefits for the obscenely rich, moderate benefits for the modestly well-off, and what do the poor get?

They get a tax-receipt black hole of at least £12 billion every year.

UKIP reckons this won’t matter, because the loss would be wiped out by savings made from leaving the EU, cutting the foreign aid budget by 85 per cent and cancelling the HS2 rail link.

The trouble is, some experts reckon the changes would cost £20 billion, meaning deeper spending cuts that would impact most strongly on services for the poorest in society.

Not only that, but there is no way of knowing what effect leaving the EU will have on the economy. The European Union is the UK’s main trading partner, with contracts worth more than £400 billion a year. How many of those will remain? And what about the UK citizens currently living in the EU? There are around two million of them, if memory serves correctly. Will they lose their jobs and be sent back here? Will those who have retired be told they can’t stay any more, as they aren’t EU citizens?

What will that do to the UK?

It seems that former Treasury official James Meadway, now senior economist at the New Economics Foundation, has the right idea. He said the proposals would be a “social catastrophe” if implemented.

“What they’re proposing is a hugely expensive means to make the tax system even more unfair. The ‘blue-collar’ stuff is just so much windbaggery and spin – this is a tax proposal that will benefit the richest most, whilst slashing the amount of money available for the public services we all need,” he said.

What a good thing it’s not going to happen, as Nigel Farage and his chums are only contesting around 12 seats.

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