Former NHS Nurse and manager now contemplating the NHS from outside

No one doubts the need for deficit reduction. If I think about the difficult decisions I had to make 5 years ago or so, when I realised that my personal debts meant that my monthly payments to creditors practically outstripped my income. Something had to give, and that something was my credit cards and loans. The experience was painful, and sacrifices were needed. But today I have just a small amount of remaining debt (other than the mortgage and every month I have money to spend. Christmas, which used to be a time to dread has come and gone and I owe no more today than I did last month.

The nation’s debt is thankfully much greater than anything I could conceive personally, but the principles are the same. The causes of this are well written about, but in my opinion not worthy of mention since it can’t help us now. The Government takes an interesting approach to trying to balance the books. Reducing the size of the public sector I can understand; it hurts me to say but a lot of jobs were created and money was wasted. You need to be careful about the ways in which you cut services and with them jobs, it creates uncertainty and fear and leads to risk aversion. More jobs are lost and less created because of this. If jobs and services don’t spring up elsewhere then some of those people become unemployed or else take lower paid, lower status jobs. This in turn means that those who might have taken those jobs are shifted further down the pile. The most vulnerable in society suffer most from this approach.

In turn the Government has taken a look at the growing benefits bill and decided that this can and must be reduced. dependency on the state needs to be reduced (even as someone who believes in the welfare state) I can hardly argue with this desire. But by starting with the most vulnerable in society this Government risks the label so often given to the Tories of the past. It feels nasty to target benefits to disabled children and those with cancer. Especially in a week when Cameron has said that he would like to see the 50% tax rate for those earning £100k to be abolished even though it is bringing plenty of tax revenue into the exchequer.

Tonight the House of Lords has shown it’s worth and voted for changes to the Welfare bill associated with these elements of cuts. It is a shame that they haven’t shown the same approach with the Health and Social Care Bill!

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Comments on: "Is this the best way to cut the deficit?" (4)

  1. Hi Julie

    I do believe the House of Lords has awoken to the governments shortcomings in their policies and have also realised that as unelected representatives in Parliament, with many wanting the House of Lords to be overturned and to become elected members or even abolished completely, many have realised they have a vital and necessary role to play – they are not government lackeys like the MPs are having to tow their party line. The House of Lords are people with nuance and past experience of the folly of the ‘boys in power’ scenario. Their wisdom and action is needed now more than ever. The fact they did not take a stance in the Health and Social Care Bill was most likely due to the feeling that something had to be done – it would be interesting to see how they would stand now, having seen the tactics of Dave, George and Nick – not forgetting the ignorance of IDS and the folly of Frank Field and Pickles. I had truly hoped for better from those chaps. I guess power has seeped into their heads.

  2. I think the House of Lords should act as the ‘non executive officers’ of parliament. Acting on behalf of us the people to make sure that the government ‘executive’ remember who they are and what they are there for.

    Sadly in the main this is not the case!

  3. Yes I agree Julie, but the HoL has done its bit for and against the ordinary people against parliamentary tyranny in the past and will no doubt try to do so in the future.

    I think the sooner the public become interested in politics at both national and local level and take on board the government stance – which is first and foremost a Tory government stance, as Clegg is really a Tory, so there is no coalition government. The policies are Tory ipso facto, so it is a Tory government we have in power. That is why the fraudulent, irresponsible, and dare I say wicked, bankers not been brought to justice? Dave and his chums are really just in it for the status and the short term glory of being in power, and the bankers are from his side of the road – you and I would have beencharged accordingly. I say short term as I see the Tories winning a tight next election with Labour definitely second and LibDems in a very poor third; so Clegg will not be one of Dave’s chums anymore.

    • Mistake, missed out the better at the end of the sentence – meant to say:
      I think the sooner the public become interested in politics at both national and local level and take on board the government stance – which is first and foremost a Tory government stance, as Clegg is really a Tory, so there is no coalition government – the better.
      Cheers.

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