Readers' letters: How we can fund £30bn NHS shortfall

Restoring the NHS to its pre-austerity 2010 state would require an additional £30 billion per year, but Rishi Sunak claims ‘there is no magic money tree,’ and asks where the money will come from. Answers below.

Half this amount could come from the tax paid by those who must be employed to deliver the required services.

Former NHS workers could return if they were offered better conditions and higher pay. And those who will be cared for by these extra workers will enjoy better health and be able to return to work, generating more tax revenue.

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For the remaining £15bn, the government could run a slightly larger deficit. Or it could reverse $15bn from the quantitative tightening programme of selling the government-owned debt that paid for the 2008 banking crisis, Brexit and Covid, and instead sell £15bn in bonds to fund the NHS.

Or it could issue NHS bonds in ISA accounts where currently £70bn is saved annually. So, finding an additional £15bn would be easy.

Another £3bn could be found by ditching the ‘non-dom’ rule for people like the PM’s wife who choose to live here but don’t pay tax on their overseas income.

There’s a compelling economic case for the UK government to find the money. For every £1 spent on health care, £4 in economic activity is generated. Sick people cannot work.

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The UK government, in deliberately undermining the NHS, has failed in its duty of care. Another reason Scotland must restore its sovereignty.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh

GP surgeries must get back to work

With the state of A&E waiting times as they are, why are the GPs in surgeries still being allowed to hide behind Covid?

If people could get a doctor’s appointment, then they wouldn’t feel the need to go to A&E to be seen.

I worked all throughout the pandemic, coming into contact with hundreds of people daily, being paid slightly more than the minimum wage!

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Yet these doctors are still being paid vast amounts and are not doing their job properly. Patients are being fobbed off with phone appointments (if they can get one) which in most cases are unsatisfactory.

If (and very rarely) you get a face to face appointment the waiting room is empty! Yet there are no appointments available.

Some surgeries won’t even let you in if you don’t have an appointment and you cannot get through on the phone to ask your question. I have redialled up to 119 times before getting an answer!

Apparently there is only one full time GP in Fife! Unbelievable!

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I don’t mind wearing a mask if I have to (though nobody wears them at my work!) and I’m sure that other people wouldn’t either if it means you can see a doctor.

Something needs to be done to get these surgeries back to work as pre-Covid.

Jeni Harvey, Lower Largo, Fife

Net Zero at any cost may mean blackouts

In Germany the Federal Network Agency is planning to ration the power supply to heat pumps and EV charging stations in order to protect the distribution grids from collapse.

Germany needs to spend between 100 and 135 billion euros over the next decade to upgrade the grid to cope with more heat pumps and EVs. Thus the consumer who cannot afford an EV or a heat pump will have to subsidise those who can.

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Do UK politicians still think that this mad dash for Net Zero at any cost is worth the real and present danger of regular UK blackouts and job losses?

Clark Cross, Linlithgow

Write to the Edinburgh Evening News

We welcome your thoughts. Write to [email protected] including name, address and phone number – we won’t print full details. Keep letters under 300 words, with no attachments. If referring to an article, include date, page number and heading.