NHS isn’t free, workers fund it

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A new Labour Party comic has just dropped though my letterbox - I preferred the Beano! I eagerly await the next 16 weekly editions. The most titillating joke is on page 3 - wait for it! - meanwhile I am reminded of the old joke, “Don’t steal! The Government hates competition”. Boom, boom!

Page 3: Mr UKIP reasonably observes: “I think we’re going to have to move to an insurance based system of health care”, to which irate Bash Street Kid Mr Labour defends ‘our Free NHS’ by retorting: “can you afford a £19,000 bill to have a baby - ‘Free’ under the NHS” (and nature too)! Do they do BOGOF? Kerpow!

I don’t know on which planet the Labour Party has been since 1946, but it was they who nationalised Britain’s health and welfare services, creating the ‘free’ NHS funded by a National Insurance scheme. I repeat a ‘National - Insurance - Scheme’. Forcibly funded by every worker (today 12% direct NI tax on income) with the balance from 20% income tax and general taxation (inc. VAT) by those not working. NI contributions (which also pay ‘free’ welfare benefits) are around £110bn p/a. The NHS costs around £110bn p/a - about £3,700 per working tax-payer. Yet HSA and provident societies offer insurance schemes (which Unions happily support) of around the same or less.

Labour long ago proved itself clueless on matters economic, but can someone please explain the difference between a massively expensive, administratively over-burdened (thanks to Labour), but fully regulated NHS funded by National Insurance and Income Tax, and a more efficient, less costly but fully regulated NHS, funded by regulated private insurance schemes?

Never forget, Labour’s NHS pioneered modern, efficient, cost-saving working practices and policies in Britain (Work Study/Method Study), yet every successive government has systematically shifted away from the NHS’s core founding primary objectives, increasing its costs. What happened to Labour’s ‘free’ dental and eye-care?

The ‘free’ NHS urgently needs radical reform and refunding - but Labour and the Unions will never allow it.

Barry M Jones

Bixley Lane, Beckley