Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/252/24755
Health, education, transport: Five Years Of Failure
Build the socialist alternative
GORDON BROWN'S much heralded budget hasn't done much to boost New Labour. A GMTV/Daily Mirror poll found 43% of people trust Blair less than than they did five years ago.
40% think things have got worse under New Labour. In a separate poll, 58% of people asked didn't expect to see any improvements in the NHS as a result of tax rises in the budget.
Brown's spending figures are based on predicted growth rates of 2% this year and 3.5% next year whereas the latest figures show the economy has virtually ground to a halt. So much for prudence, sound finance and ending boom and bust!
No extra money is to be made available to raise pay levels of nurses and other health workers; Brown warns "that the days of something for nothing are over in public services". What an insult to health workers who daily slog their guts out to keep an understaffed NHS going with inadequate resources and earning poverty wages.
Big business will be the main beneficiary of Brown's billions. The money amounts to 7.5% annual growth over the next five years - many trusts estimate that they need 6.6 % per year just to stand still.
Add to this the cost of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes and the money will soon disappear into the pockets of the fat cats.
City analysts put profit margins on a PFI hospital at more than double a typical building project!
Money will also be squandered on paying for beds in private hospitals to prop up a failing private sector, and sending patients abroad for treatment.
But it's not just on health that New Labour are seen to have failed. Polls also show that people think they have done badly on education and transport.
More than ever before working-class people need a political alternative to challenge the big business policies of New Labour and all the main parties.
The Socialist Party offers an alternative - in elections, in the workplaces, in local communities and anti-capitalist protests. Join us now and fight to build a socialist alternative.
In The Socialist 3 May 2002: