Readers' letters: Scotland is making best of health crisis
In his latest attempt to politicise the NHS, Ian Murray, like Rishi Sunak, fails to acknowledge that Scotland currently has the best performing NHS system in the UK (News, 12 January).
Our A&E waiting times are much better than in England or Wales. Under Labour control in Wales, NHS spending on agency staff has doubled since 2018 due to staff shortages since Brexit, which Labour supports. This also applies to care home and social services staff throughout the UK.
The lack of UK funding for the NHS impacts on the Scottish health budget and under devolution any Scottish government is constrained by the fact that it has very limited tax options and virtually no borrowing powers to boost our economy and health services that have been devastated by inflation due to Westminster failures on Covid, energy supplies and a Brexit we didn’t vote for.
Labour don’t want us to look too closely at their plans for the NHS which include attacking GP finances and blaming them for NHS problems while agreeing with the Tories to increase NHS outsourcing rather than reducing private profit from the NHS.
Fraser Grant, Edinburgh
Murray should target the real culprits
Ian Murray won’t stick to his day job - to oppose the Tories who have starved the NHS and other public services of funding during their 13 years in power. He’d rather attack the Scottish Government.
Instead of defending the NHS, pledging to restore its funding and reversing its privatisation, Ian’s boss attacks GPs, saying the way they are paid is ‘murky.’ But Keir Starmer offers no credible alternative.
What’s murky is Labour Party financing. In its rightward lurch, the party has lost millions of members, so Keir Starmer is grovelling to millionaires, the City and large corporations. To satisfy them, Wes Streeting is conceding an even larger role for the private sector, moving the UK towards the dysfunctional US ‘health’ system where millions are uninsured and those who are, receive a poor service.
A stressed population does not enjoy good health, which explains the UK’s record levels of excess deaths. Poor health is not the fault of the NHS but of government austerity policy that has increased poverty. Labour has abandoned ordinary people – along with its pledges to introduce PR, support trade unions, and renationalise public services - in its rush to power.
No wonder Labour is irrelevant in Scotland.
Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh
Sunak has no control over inflation rate
Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, in his grandiose new year address to the nation, promised that “We will halve inflation this year to ease the cost of living and give people financial security”.
For many months Tory government ministers from the PM down have claimed inflation is not something over which they have control. Rather, they say, it has been caused by the pandemic, sharp rises in world wide fuel prices and war in Ukraine.
Surely government ministers can’t have it both ways. Either inflation is not something over which they have control, in which case Mr Sunak’s pledge to halve inflation in 2023 looks a mite disingenuous. Or else it is, in which case the citizens of the UK might be interested to know why they haven’t got it under control already.
I suspect Mr Sunak’s “pledge” is nothing more than Tory spin. It seems likely, according to infor-med commentators, that inflation will fall but unlikely to be due to anything Sunak’s govern-ment does or doesn’t do.
David Howdle, Kirkton
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