Sunday 12 October 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014 Posted by Jake 2 comments Labels: , , , , ,
Posted by Jake on Sunday, October 12, 2014 with 2 comments | Labels: , , , , ,

Our politicians have got into the habit of pulling off shabby tricks to deceive the voters. Even when we don’t know we are being tricked, we suspect we probably are. This is true of Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and the rest. 

For example, is David Cameron’s promise to protect the NHS budget all it seems to be? If you thought "protect" meant we would continue to receive the same level of care, you'd be wrong.

Cameron promised the NHS budget will be protected in “real terms”. Which means its government funding increases in line with inflation. He would like you to presume in 2015 the NHS would be able to do as much as it did in 2010.

The shabby trick here is the NHS is being given the same buying power, but it has to buy more. Even forgetting about new more expensive treatments, it has to buy more because:

  • The population is growing. So for the same money the NHS has to treat more people.
  • The population is aging. Older people need more health care.
1) According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the UK population will be about 64.8 million in 2015. That would be an increase of 2 million people in the five years since 2010. 

An extra 2 million people will have to be kept healthy in 2015 on no more money in real terms than was available in 2010.

2) ONS figures show in the five years between 2008 and 2013 the survival rate beyond the age of 75 has increased significantly:
  • for men from 68% to 71%
  • for women from 78% to 80%

Unsurprisingly, older people need more healthcare. A report by the consultancy McKinsey stated:

"As one would expect, there was a strong interplay between age and the presence of physical and mental health LTCs [Long Term Conditions]... 64% of the people between the ages of 65 and 74 had two or more physical or mental health LTCs; 39% had three or more. For those age 85 and older, those figures rose to 69% and 46%, respectively."

The McKinsey report goes on to say that 

"Age was a major cost driver and predictor of risk. For example...58% of the people in the very-high-risk category were elderly, compared with 6% of those in the moderate-risk category."

McKinsey states that the cost of treating people in the 'high-risk' (£8,007 per person) and 'very high risk' (£25,587 per person) categories is much higher. So as the population ages and more people move into these riskier categories there is a major impact on the cost of keeping them healthy.

These two factors, the population growing and aging, mean that keeping NHS funding protected in real terms means a major cut in the funds available to keep each of us healthy.

The graph below from a report by NHS England shows how funding is falling behind spending requirements.

We are craftily being weened off our expectations of the NHS. A report by the Independent newspaper says health bosses have considered providing hospital healthcare free, but charging £75 a night "hotel fees" for staying in a ward.

Like a frog in a pan of slowly heated water, we are at risk of being boiled alive without noticing it until it is too late. Our only way out of the pan is by our votes.

The panic in Labour and Tory parties caused by UKIP’s electoral successes in 2014 blind them to their real problem. People don’t trust them. Whether Labour or Tory is in power the majority find themselves stagnating or worse off, while the lucky few are quids in. The LibDems too have disgraced themselves over tuition fees and more. With the 'mainstream' so mucky, where is a voter to go?

Mainstream parties should not look at UKIP to see why British voters are turning away. They should look at themselves.


  1. And what about the 'shabby trick' of the PFI high interest loans and terrible deals made for developers' profits? Dreamed up by Tories and continued with enthusism by Blair's mob! Schools too.

    1. Quite right. See our article on PFI here:


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