LABOUR NOW A THREAT TO THE NHS
Whilst clearly under pressure post-Covid, the NHS is an example of what a public service should be; free at the point of use and accessible to all who need it. However, it seems that today’s Labour MPs don’t share NHS founder Aneurin Bevan’s view of how our public services should operate, as they plan to further private sector involvement.
A recent report from pro-NHS campaign, EveryDoctor, revealed that several senior MPs have received considerable cash sums, courtesy of private healthcare companies, whether that be from donations, hospitality offerings, or even through ‘earnings’ and shares.
Of those receiving this money, it’s unsurprising to find while that the greatest recipients are Tories, like John Redwood MP, who made almost £700,000 from private healthcare investors, Labour MPs are also involved.
Labour’s front bench has collectively received £783,930 with Shadow Health secretary Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper MP, and Deputy Leader, Angela Rayner MP, reported to have accepted donations ranging from £50,000 to almost £300,000. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer MP has himself received £157,500!
Considering that every pound handed over undoubtedly carries the expectation of influence and favours, one can only wonder at the strings attached to such hefty donations?
The revelation of Labour MPs’ ties to private healthcare was accompanied by Sir Keir Starmer announcing on Sky News that his party is keen to find ways of “using the private sector effectively” to reform the NHS. This actively goes against his own leadership campaign pledge, where he stated that “public services should be in public hands, not making profits for shareholders” and that he wanted to “end outsourcing in our NHS”.
I agree with Sir Keir’s leadership pledge, even if he doesn’t!
Rather than offering lucrative deals to the private sector to address problems facing the health service, Westminster parties should back increased NHS investment in what is an invaluable lifeline and support for millions across the UK.
Of course, it isn’t just private healthcare that Labour MPs are willing to bow to, as the scrapping of the party’s plans to increase UK Digital Services Tax coincided with Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds MP, his senior parliamentary assistant, and Sir Keir’s political director attending Glastonbury Festival paid for by tech giant, Google. Mr Reynolds last August called for the Digital Services Tax, which applies a 2% profit tax to UK income of online companies, to be increased to 10%. Since Glastonbury, Labour has dropped this policy.
Other senior Labour Party figures have accepted gifts from Google in the months leading up to its Digital Services Tax U-turn, including tickets, transport and hospitality at this year’s Brit Awards. The cost? The cancellation of a policy worth an estimated £3 billion in tax for public services!
The NHS is devolved to Scotland, providing some measure of protection. However, privatisation in England leads to proportionate cuts imposed on Scotland.
SNP MPs continue to do all we can to protect the NHS and ensure the private health companies cannot buy our democracy.