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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 December 2020

Fund NHS, not Tory crony contracts

Socialist Party Scotland poster in Glasgow, photo P Stott

Socialist Party Scotland poster in Glasgow, photo P Stott   (Click to enlarge)

Heather Rawling, Leicester Socialist Party

The Tories clapped for the NHS. Heroes, they said. The NHS is safe in our hands, they said. Liars!

Instead, Boris Johnson and co have been busy giving lucrative private contracts to their friends and family.

10 billion in contracts has been awarded by government departments to private companies, without competition, during the pandemic.

For example, Debbie White, former chief executive of the infamous Interserve, and an executive of Sodexo, was awarded an exclusive contract worth 280,000 to co-ordinate a network of testing centres across the UK. It reeks of cronyism.

In addition, 100 million has been spent by the government on consultants, and 12 billion has been paid out on test-and-trace which hasn't delivered.

That money could have been given directly to the NHS to expand services and resources to fight the pandemic. And to give all workers in the NHS the 15% pay rise that nurses have been fighting for.

Our money has been directed away from our health service into the private bank accounts of big business. We pay for the NHS through our taxes. Our parents and grandparents also gave their money and worked to build the NHS. They gave us something to be proud of.

However successive governments have undermined the NHS by starving it of funds.

Giving contracts to private companies threatens the foundations of the NHS and the running down of services.

It's alright for the rich, they can afford private medicine, but we can't. Many workers are only one or two pay cheques away from destitution. If you're not one of the rich, then your health relies on a free national health service that is properly funded and resourced.

Yet the NHS can barely cope in a 'normal' winter, let alone during a pandemic and a mass vaccination programme. It's not unusual to see queues of ambulances waiting to deliver patients to A&E. Long waiting lists mean that people have died waiting for treatment and operations. Getting an appointment with your GP is difficult to say the least.

But what do the Tories and big business care? They only care about themselves and their profits.

The Socialist Party says:

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 9 December 2020:


News

Fund NHS, not Tory crony contracts

Covid vaccines only first step - fight job losses, austerity and 'virus' of capitalism

High street jobs, safety and pay: We have to fight

Super-rich tax evasion costs 34 million nurses worldwide

Luxury for some, poverty for the rest of us


What we think

Should Corbyn stand for London Mayor?


Workplace news

RMT gen sec election - vote for Steve Hedley

Further education workers win pay rise in Wales

HMRC pay talks - PCS needs to organise members now

Reinstate sacked Unite London bus rep Judith Katera

South London council workers vote to strike


International news

Right populism after Trump

Malaysia: Massive capitalist exploitation of migrant workers exposed by Covid pandemic

International news in brief


Engels

Engels and the answer to the housing question


Campaigns news

Welsh trades councils rally against the pay-freeze

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Tenants and workers unite to take on landlords

'Oxford, Cut the Rent!' campaign kicks off

York students determined to build for rent refunds and free education

London Socialist Party hits the streets


Readers' opinion

TV review: Red, White and Blue

The Socialist Inbox


Obituary

Obituary: Roger Priest


 

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triangleHealth worker cooperation in the face of the pandemic

triangleNHS Emergency - Fight for a fully funded, publicly owned, socialist NHS

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