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From: The Socialist issue 765, 15 May 2013: Axe the killer tax

Search site for keywords: Cuts - Health - Greece - Budget - Education

Them & Us

Condition critical

Cuts in NHS staffing levels as a result of 'efficiency savings', and the drive to achieve Foundation Trust status, mean that patient care is at unsafe levels.

A survey by the Safe Staffing Alliance found that the number of nursing staff to patients was at dangerously critical levels.

The Alliance - which comprises of health service union Unison, the Royal College of Nursing and the Patients Association - surveyed 3,000 nurses at 31 hospitals and found that, on average, each nurse has to cope with eight patients for 40% of their time.

Despite identifying staff shortages as a contributing factor to 'excessive patient deaths' at the Mid Staffordshire hospital, the government and health authorities continue to make cuts.

Simon Carter

Cuts kill

Greece shows the results of health cuts and understaffing.

Greece's national health budget has been slashed by 40% since 2008 at the demands of the Troika - the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Bank. 35,000 health workers have lost their jobs, while hospital admissions have gone through the roof as patients missed out preventative treatment due to rising drug costs and soaring queues.

The decimation of the Mosquito spraying programme has resulted in substantial malaria cases for the first time since the early 70s. Infant mortality has risen by 40%.

High flyer

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows how to travel in comfort. He had a 83,000 bed installed on a plane for him and his partner Sara to travel to Margaret Thatcher's funeral.

They took the five hour flight on the same day that 10,000 people demonstrated against his government's cuts to jobs and services.

The Netanyahus' state funded household spending has increased 80% in the past three years, to 975,000 in 2012 alone.

Benjamin is feeling the pinch in some ways though. His 1,700 annual ice cream budget was ditched in February.

Top of the league

Maybe it's media excitement over Alex Ferguson's retirement but the papers all want to show how Britain is still top of many league tables.

London, it seems, still has more multi-millionaires 'worth' over 20 million than any other world city. There are 4,224 of these worthless 'ultra-high net worth individuals'.

Though in the Champions League of billionaires, London - with 54 - has slipped to third behind New York and Moscow.

Keith White

Golden Gove

In March, Con-Dem Education minister Michael Gove accused school students of "disturbing historical ignorance, with one teenage in five believing Winston Churchill was a fictional character while 58% think Sherlock Holmes was real".

But it turns out the real ignoramus was Gove.

When a retired teacher tried to verify Gove's claims, the Department of Education's response to the Freedom of Information request was "unfortunately, I am not able to provide you with the details of the survey as it was commissioned and conducted by UKTV Gold".

The 2008 PR survey was used by the channel to show the strength of the UK's fiction, with teenagers surveyed as a subgroup in a poll that covered all adult ages.

Another of Mr Gove's credible sources was - Premier Inn! The PR poll was used by the hotel company to suggest that visiting landmarks could rectify such ignorance.

It has not been confirmed if the research used by Gove for his Mail on Sunday article was done my professional polling companies, or if it met British Polling Council standards.

Seems Michael should get an 'F' and some after-school extra tuition.

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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.
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