NHS: We used to ask ‘Can you trust the Tories with the NHS?’ Now we ask ‘Do the Tories agree among themselves?’

8th February 2012

Not many Seacombe residents could afford to pay twice for health care – once through the state insurance deducted from their wages, and then again for private health insurance on top.  So it will come as no surprise that we have heard of nobody in our ward who looks favourably on Tory plans to introduce ever more privatisation to the NHS.

Is it any surprise that Tory Health Secretary Andrew Lansley came under more pressure today as a senior source from inside 10 Downing Street is reported to have accused him of “messing up” the ConDems’ disasterous plans to “reform” our well loved NHS?

Seacombe Cllr Chris Jones is a NHS Ward Manager with strong loyalty to the NHS

Reports say that some Lib Dem peers have come to their senses and are planning to revolt when the Health and Social Care Bill returns to the Lords today.  And what was being reported in the press?  Here are some links:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/andrew-lansley-labelled-a-disaster-over-677268

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/andrew-lansley-labelled-a-disaster-over-677268

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-cuts-leaked-document-reveals-675744

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/royal-college-of-gps-urges-prime-673979

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/andrew-lansley-u-turn-on-nhs-hidden-661075

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/scrapping-the-tories-nhs-bill-would-659180

The British Medical Association,the Royal College of Nursing, and the Royal College of GPs, are publicly campaigning against the Tory proposals.  But is this Tory-led government too arrogant to listen to the health professionals who run the NHS every day, and the ordinary people of this country?  Are they hearing only the rich?

Seacombe has an older than average population, and many families on low incomes – with much shorter life expectancy than in wealthy areas.  For Seacombe residents Labour’s National Health Service is of massive importance.

The Tories fought against Labour’s  creation of the NHS in the first place.  Now, it’s increasingly clear that ‘privatisation’ plans are causing conflict even in the ConDems’ Tory-led government.  So when are we going to hear the Wallasey Tories speaking up for people living around here, to oppose what their government is trying to inflict on the NHS?

It would be nice to hear from them.  We are not holding our breath.

 

Fuel poverty hits North West – 25% of our people at increasing risk?

4th December 2011

One in four face fuel poverty, says ‘Consumer Focus’

As the Government is already decreasing Labour's winter fuel payment Chris is concerned at the effects of fuel poverty in Seacombe where many of our retired residents live on small fixed incomes.

Chris says:  “With the North West amongst the worst hit regions of England and Wales Seacombe families, where retired people’s incomes are lower than most, must be especially hard hit.    Across the Region the percentage of homes hit has risen from 22.1% to 29.4% – a startling and rapid upward trend.   Yet this government is reducing Labour’s winter fuel allowance at the same time.  If this winter is anything like as cold as last year’s how many of our elderly residents are going to be able to cope without great hardship?

This government’s slogan is ‘We’re all in this together’ – but how many of the millionaires in the Cameron/Clegg Cabinet, or the bankers who caused the mess in the first place, are going to feel the cold ‘all in this together’ quite as much as the people I represent in Seaombe this winter?”

The proportion of homes in fuel poverty in England and Wales has risen from 18% to 24% in two years, according to the report’s estimates. ‘Consumer Focus’ has calculated that nearly 5.7 million households are in fuel poverty – when more than 10% of their disposable income is spent on fuel.

‘Consumer Focus’ called on the UK government to support a new energy efficiency programme in England. The Welsh government is already committed to tackling fuel poverty, with schemes including ‘Arbed’, a £60m investment in improving energy efficiency in some of the most deprived areas.

The estimates are based on the most recent official government figures on fuel poverty since 2009. Energy price rises, changes to household income and alterations to household energy efficiency were then factored in. “Recent energy price rises have pushed many more people across the country into fuel poverty,” said Audrey Gallacher, director of energy at Consumer Focus. It is difficult to see how the government is going to meet its target to end fuel poverty by 2016. With so many people struggling to afford their energy bills,
we urge the government to use the proceeds from new carbon taxes to support a national energy efficiency programme to give extra help to those who need it.”

Fuel poverty estimates in England and Wales
Region
2009
2011
Consumer Focus estimates of proportion of households in
fuel poverty
North
East
24.1% 30.1%
Yorkshire
and theHumber
19.9% 25%
North West 22.1% 29.4%
East Midlands 21.4% 27.5%
West Midlands 26.2% 32%
South
West
18.4% 24.9%
East 16.2% 20.6%
South
East
11.8% 16.9%
London 13.3% 17.8%
Wales 33.5% 41.3%

We will be interested to receive comments from our elderly residents about the reductions in winter fuel allowance.