The Times letters 12th April 2015 are interesting and consistent. The politicians are speaking nonsense, so would posthumous voting on the health services be any less sensible?
As the campaign heats up, politicians are shamelessly attempting to bribe the voters — especially on NHS funding
Sir, I have voted Tory since the 1950s. This time I do not know what to do. Neither Cameron nor Osborne can answer straight questions about how their promises will be funded. The most blatant was on Sunday’s Andrew Marr Show when Osborne squirmed when asked about his funding of the NHS, etc. It is time they faced daily conferences with reporters.
Bridlington, East Yorkshire
Sir, The “Advent calendar” behaviour of our political parties, where each day a present is unwrapped to spend more of our money without the need to raise it through taxation, serves to illustrate how little regard they have for the electorate. Do they really think that this approach will fool us?
Sir, I’m already tired of the assertions made by politicians regarding the NHS. Mr Cameron talks of 8,000 new GPs, ignoring the fact that after a decade of political abuse coupled with increasing demands and a tick-box culture, doctors are leaving general practice in their droves. Mr Miliband is making equally ridiculous claims with regard to midwives, who have long been underpaid, undervalued, and subject to the same asinine tick-box culture. None of the political parties has demonstrated the courage and knowledge to resolve the problems of our National Health Service. To deal with the NHS, decide where you want to be in 10 years’ time and then work backwards as to how this can be achieved and paid for.
As the NHS is a bottomless financial pit this would be a good opportunity to look at models with different costs, let the public vote on it in a referendum and then live with the financial implications.
Dr Tony Markham
Sir, Ed Miliband said (report, Apr 11) that the NHS cannot be funded on an IOU. He has forgotten that between 1997 and 2010 Labour did exactly that — by building hospitals under private finance initiative (PFI) schemes. The interest repayments for these form a major portion of the NHS deficit, although by keeping the deals off the balance sheet the problem has been hidden from voters.
Dr Andrew Bamji
Rye, East Sussex
Sir, In Australia we mourn the death not only of a great cricketer, Richie Benaud, but also that of a former finance minister, Peter Walsh, who applied the principle that money must be earned before it is spent. He did so by means of a “razor gang” whose brief was to cut excessive expenditure. Judging by the promises made as Britain’s election drags on, a country with a worrying deficit will be in desperate need of its own razor gang.
Sir, David Cameron should be commended for promising to invest an extra £8 billion in the NHS. Was the reduction of investment in the past a mistake?
Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Sir, Voters have discovered they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. Many will vote for candidates who promise most from the public purse. If those candidates become our governors the result will be loose fiscal policy followed by austerity, personal hardship and social unrest. It would be wise to vote for the party that promises least.
Sir, I have decided that I will not vote for any party which does not explain exactly how its “gifts” will be funded.
Sally Gainsbury and Sarah Neville in the Financial Times 16th April 2015: NHS cash crunch to hit after UK election