The government claims that to pay inflation-busting increases to public sector workers would cost an extra £28 billion: but BBC Newsnight’s economics editor Ben Chu argues the cost would be £10-£15 billion.
Either way the cost is not the main obstacle: the main problem is the government refusal to fund the NHS at a sustainable level, because their priority since 2010 has been to keep taxes low for the wealthiest few and the corporations, which are coining in ever-increasing profits.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said he accepts that the NHS is “on the brink of collapse” and admitted there are “massive pressures in the NHS … with doctors, nurses on the frontline frankly under unbearable pressure”. But he still argues more real terms cuts in the NHS are needed to help fix the economy that has been broken by years of austerity since 2010.
Full story in The Lowdown, 16 December 2022