New dangers to NHS from think tank critics

The Truss government has set out its stall and political scientists have confirmed what is plain to see – that it is lurching further to the right. You might wonder then where are all these more extreme ideas coming from?

The Guardian’s George Monbiot has highlighted the role of right wing lobby groups, noting that Truss’s senior special advisor is Ruth Porter, formerly communications director for the opaquely-funded Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA). She has called for charging patients to use the NHS. Porter has also been head of economic and social policy at another opaquely funded far right body, Policy Exchange, and it was Porter who established a web page for the “Free Enterprise Group” of Tory MPs which was apparently set up by Truss in 2011.

Truss’s chief economic advisor is Matthew Sinclair, formerly chief executive of the so-called Taxpayers Alliance, which is obscurely funded by foreign donors with little evidence that it involves any UK taxpayers.

Truss’s interim press secretary has also worked as research director for the Taxpayers Alliance. Her health advisor was senior researcher at the Centre for Policy Studies, which claims to be Britain’s “leading centre-right think tank” and was set up by Margaret Thatcher and Sir Keith Joseph in 1974. It has also argued for fees to be levied to visit a GP or for hospital treatment.

Full story in The Lowdown, 10 October 2022