It has been widely reported that the NHS expenditure is to be ring-fenced.
Has anyone thought about the impact on front line services of a VAT increase?
We know that management in the NHS in Scotland is top heavy and the Scottish government has yet to deal with it, but from a UK perspective, do we realise what, with a 2.5% increase in the service will be the result?
The last labour government refused to raise VAT because it would affect their voters. They blame the increase of VAT on the last Tory government who raised it from 15% to 17.5%, yet it is the lowest in Europe.
Somehow, if an increase in VAT is in the forthcoming budget, there must be some way that the NHS is protected. Easy to do.
Utilities too ought to be protected from further VAT increases. I've just had a bill from my gas and electric company and they want more than my state pension in monthly payments. That's not because I'm extravagant with my heating and electric but because this winter has been extreme. Yes I received my £200 winter fuel payment but because I don't claim any benefits I am not entitled to any of the programmes utility companies offer.
With regard to NHS services I do hope people protest. In this area there are some agencies who offer little to their communities yet their payroll contributes to the excesses in the public sector - so many voluntary agencies use very genuine volunteers yet claim vast sums of money for 'core' staff who do little on the front line.
All the present government has to do is design an online 'Where Do You Think the NH Should Be Going and Why?' We will let them know the answers, not 'think tanks'.