Monday November 12, 2018
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PERSONAL, UNDILUTED VIEWS FROM TOM WINNIFRITH

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Pathetic and wretched Theresa May and her Brexit dividend for the NHS lie

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- Tom Winnifrith

Is Mrs May the worst Tory PM since Heath, since Chamberlain or ever? That would be my suggested question for this summer’s A level politics students and her weekend pledge to give a £384 million a week Brexit dividend to the NHS might just be a central case study. At every level it shows why this wretched woman will tell whatever lie she thinks will win her votes in a desperate attempt to keep her job. It is truly pitiful.

You will remember that in the referendum campaign “Vote Leave” said that quitting the EU would save £350 million a week which could or would go to the NHS. Mrs May is now telling Brexit backing Tories (i.e. most of the party if not the MPs) that she is £34 million a week better than Boris. Except, what Mrs May says is not true.

The pitiful woman has already signed us up to pay a £40 billion divorce bill without finding what we get in return ( hint it will be bad things). So after years of handing over billions of pounds a year to support corrupt politicians and inefficient farmers and manufacturers across Europe we now have to pay even more to leave. It is obviously a piss poor deal.

But what is more obvious that there is no Brexit dividend. We pay £40 billion to save c£8 billion a year so only after five years can we start talking about dividends for the NHS.  But Mrs May plans to start to spend, spend, spend now!

To be fair she admits some of the cash will come from more taxation and from borrowing. What she means by that is that since there is no Brexit dividend (and the cash saved in the end is taxpayers cash anyway) she plans to spend more on the NHS by increasing taxes and by taking on more debt which will have to be serviced and repaid by future taxpayers.

In 2018 Tax Freedom Day fell on May 29th. Until that point everything the average person earned went to Mrs May to piss away. After that Mr or Ms Average got to work for themselves. According to the Adam Smith Institute which tracks Tax Freedom Day, the event was celebrated o May 26 in 2017 and the 2018 date is the latest since reliable records began. Tax Freedom Day was probably higher in the late 1970s but it is hard to prove. Back in the mid 1990s tax freedom day was in the first couple of days of May. Tax Freedom Day was on May 18th when Call Me Dave came to power and May 23rd when the wretched Theresa took charge. It will almost certainly head into June in 2019.

So tax is already going up and here is Mrs May who, together with Phil Hammond, have already soaked the taxpayer in a way not seen since the days of Callaghan and Healey planning to make things even worse. At such stage those who pay the most tax will say that enough is enough and will stop working, risking their capital or living in this rain sodden isle. Real Tories like Pritti Patel understand that.

But what about the poor NHS?  Mrs May says that one reason to make this pledge is because “it is time to end austerity.” Hogwash. Government spending has risen year on year since the evil Tories returned to power in 2010 and spending on the NHS has been rising in real terms (i.e. adjusting for inflation) in real terms at a fair old rate since Mrs may took charge. There has been no austerity.

If you keep chucking money at the NHS you merely delay the day when it addresses its fundamental inefficiencies. It pays far more than it needs to for drugs, it employs far more managers in relation to front line staff than any private healthcare provider, it uses those staff in an inefficient way.

Take the annual “training courses” in ski resorts attended by thousands of greedy doctors each year when – thanks to flu and ice on the roads – we know hospitals will be at their busiest. The NHS subsidises those jollies. It then invites the media to see how understaffed it is at its peak times and says that is because its staff are so badly paid. Of course doctors are incredibly well paid but the narrative works and so Mrs May is now agreeing to pay rises all round in the NHS. But if staff are off on skiing jollies at peak times you will always have staff shortages. 

Those lobbying on behalf of staff in the world’s fourth largest employer ( behind the US Military, China’s army and Wal-Mart) do a great job in demanding ever more and in refusing to accept that the NHS is badly managed and riven with inefficiency. The NHS Unions are like the Miners of old – whatever they demand they get.  Lady Thatcher or Priti Patel might stand up to them, explain to the electorate how much doctors and NHS managers earn and deal with the real issues. But while Grocer Heath tried to take the Miners on, before folding like a useless pack of cards, Mrs May is so wretched that she just goes along with whatever she thinks folks want to hear.

At every level Sunday’s Brexit dividend for the NHS announcement is a lie and marks a new low for the woman who is, I would argue, the worst Tory Prime Minister in history.

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