Saturday, 16 October 2010
Are English Patients Disadvantaged?
I would prefer to contribute something towards any prescriptions I may need but the Scottish Government has decided prescriptions will be free from April next year. Since coming to power the SNP government has reduced the cost of prescriptions from £8.85 to £3. Removing the charge altogether is expected to cost around £40 million.
Ms Sturgeon said: "The prescription charge is a tax on ill health that Scotland's poorest families can ill afford. Some have argued that in this financial climate, we should not go ahead with our plan to abolish prescription charges. Well, times are tight and we believe that the last people who should be paying the price of the current economic mess are the sick."
Yet the Taxpayers' Alliance campaign manager Fiona McEvoy complains that this is the latest in a series of moves which disadvantaged English taxpayers compared to their Scottish counterparts.
Does Ms McEvoy not realise Scotland is, very fortunately, not attached to the English health service? We presently have a government which wishes to use our allocation of the UK budget in the way the people want it spent. The SNP government show they listen to the people and it's up to the English themselves to lobby their politicians for a similar policy. It's shameful that English patients with long-term conditions are not given free prescriptions yet millions is spent funding fake charities and some dubious overseas projects.
My suggestion to Ms McEvoy is to use the example of the Scottish Government as leverage with your political contacts in England. Oh, while you're talking with them, suggest a freeze on council tax. We've had a freeze here for 3 years now and hopefully it will continue for another 2 years. It's not how much money you have, it's how well it's used.
In this case the Scottish government are creating policy which the majority support then finding the finance to support it. That's the way it should be, instead of the present 'what can we do for the money' attitude at Westminster. Wednesday's announcement concerning our security requirements will be a fine example of that no doubt.