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Extreme and dangerous Tory spending cuts

Disaster-looms-for-NHS_large-e1308062563878-2The Chancellor’s final budget was less than twenty hours old before Liberal Democrat Treasury ministers tried to disown it by presenting an alternative ‘yellow’ budget, before abusing parliamentary privilege to deliver it as a ministerial statement. However, no matter how many budgets the government presents none of them can hide from the fact that the Coalition has failed their own economic test to balance the books within a single parliament and the Tories and Lib Dems will go into the next election having borrowed £200 billion more than planned.

The Chancellor’s broken promise means that instead of delivering a budget announcing the end of austerity, he is now planning cuts to public services which are deeper than any in the last parliament. In the next three years the Tories have promised to cut public services at almost twice the level of the last three years.

The NHS was one of the key areas that was notably absent from the Chancellor’s budget. He proposed nothing to end the A&E crisis, address the issues of GP access, tackle understaffed wards, or reverse cuts in elderly care which has meant more people presenting at A&E. Worse still, the extreme levels of spending cuts proposed by the Chancellor have never been achieved in other countries without cutting health spending.

The government have already broken their promises on the NHS in this parliament, and we cannot risk the future of the NHS to a chancellor wanting to return public spending to their lowest level since 1938.

The NHS cannot afford five more years of Cameron and Osborne taking us down a path of extreme austerity at a time when we need to integrate health and social care, to provide a single joined up service from home to hospital.

We need a Labour government with a plan to invest and improve our NHS. Through our time to care fund we will recruit 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 new home care workers and 3,000 more midwives, funded through mansion tax on properties worth over £2 million, cracking down on tax avoidance and a levy on tobacco companies.

The next election will determine the long term future of our National Health Service and there is a very clear choice. The Conservative’s promising extreme cuts, who broke their promise and implemented a top down reorganisation which opened up the NHS to full scale privatisation, or a Labour alternative promising to protect and invest in our NHS.

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