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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 February 2016
Tories bankrupting NHS
Trade unionists must organise fightback
Marching for the NHS in Bolsover, August 2014, photo Elaine Evans (Click to enlarge)
The National Health Service (NHS) in England is in financial meltdown due to the Tories' relentless drive toward privatisation. According to Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, the NHS's accumulated deficit is likely to balloon to £2.5 billion this year - jeopardising patient care as health trusts cut back on staff.
This deficit is largely as a result of successive governments pursuing rip-off Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts.
In Barts, east London, the largest hospitals trust in England, a PFI redevelopment of the Royal London Hospital has left it owing £135 million - up from £93 million since last year. But while private contractors are quids-in, the trust has a shortage of 1,044 nursing posts and is making cuts.
A Barts health worker (speaking under anonymity) told the Socialist: "This debt should be dropped and repudiated - it has absolutely nothing to do with the increasingly overworked staff responsible for providing health services to some of the poorest communities in the country.
"What's urgently needed is a mass national demonstration called by the TUC and built seriously by the health unions as part of coordinated, generalised, strike action to defend the junior doctors and student nurse bursaries and to kick out big business from our NHS.
"Such a programme of action, supported by my union branch, will be hugely popular with both health workers and a working class angered by the increasing brutality of these cuts."
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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.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 10 February 2016:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Fight council cuts!
Tories bankrupting NHS
Defiant mood as junior doctors demonstrate
Lawyers defeat Tories' unjust legal aid cuts
Cushy government job for Amazon boss
'Pro-rape' anti-feminist Roosh V humiliated
Liverpool fans walk out against ticket price hikes
Them & Us
Socialist Party feature
Mental health: system in crisis
Mental health: My battle for the help I needed
What we think
Cameron's EU renegotiation charade
Don't give money to Ukip and Tory EU campaigners!
Momentum, Labour and the Socialist Party
Lack of strategy and exclusions threaten Momentum
Birmingham: socialists kicked out of Momentum
Labour right wing blocks call to debate budget cuts
Socialist Party workplace news
No-cuts strategy needed to save 25,000 council jobs
Local government union backs no-cuts council budgets
Big victory at Small Heath School against academy attack
Cuts to premiums mean no 'rise' in store for Tesco workers
Leicester taxi dispute: Labour's rank hypocrisy
South London: Library workers strike to save services
Continued action in crane drivers' pay dispute
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Portsmouth: support for anti-austerity stand
Leeds meeting expresses Corbyn and McDonnell's contradictions
Socialist Party members inspired by conference
Torbay: "A tale of two towns"
Anger against plans to close Bradford libraries
NHS campaign gains support
International socialist news and analysis
Sanders' socialist message rattling the establishment
US elections: Clinton coins it
International news in brief
The Socialist 10 February 2016 |
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