Readers' letters: Scotland’s better health spend record

It is obvious to anyone who follows UK news that the poorer performing NHS in England or Wales is not politicised to anything like the extent it is in Scotland.
Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher - 14 November 2022Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher - 14 November 2022
Where Art I? Edinburgh Sketcher - 14 November 2022

Proportionately England spends three times the amount on agency staff in the NHS than in Scotland. In Wales the numbers on NHS waiting lists are almost 50 per cent higher than in Scotland.

The average nurse’s salary in Scotland is currently £36,641 compared to £33,384 in England yet the Scottish Government is offering a much better pay award of £2205 worth over 11 per cent increase for the lowest NHS bands, and an average of 7 percent compared to the lower average of 4.75 per cent in England in Wales.

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It takes some nerve for the Tories to attempt to blame the SNP for the UK-wide strikes, particularly when Scotland has a fixed budget and Labour Welsh ministers have also pointed out the limitations of the devolution settlement to deal with rampant UK inflation made worse by Tory policies.

Nurses throughout the UK have voted for the first time ever to take part in national strike over pay and working conditionsNurses throughout the UK have voted for the first time ever to take part in national strike over pay and working conditions
Nurses throughout the UK have voted for the first time ever to take part in national strike over pay and working conditions

Those who believe in the NHS will not be encouraged by Keir Starmer’s views on foreign workers and no return to freedom of movement.

Mary Thomas, Edinburgh.

New Labour is moving to the right

Lamenting the lack of political civility, Ian Murray omits that Labour shadow health minister Wes Streeting called Professor Richard Murphy “hysterical” and Jeremy Corbyn “senile.” (News, November 10). Civility starts at home, Ian.

Sreeting failed to explain how Labour would fund the NHS after 12 years of Tory underinvestment. His cunning plan is to adopt the disastrous US private health insurance model, effectively ending free publicly funded healthcare at the point of use. What the Tories and New Labour don’t get is that spending on health boosts the economy. Healthier people live and work longer and have fewer sick days.

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A pound spent on healthcare can add up to four times that amount to the economy, which means government can collect more tax that it spent.

The Scottish Government spends more on health than any other UK nation and has the best outcomes.But real-world evidence goes against neoliberal ideology that wants to shrink the state while growing the power and wealth of the oligarchy.

What’s really damaging to society, Ian, is New Labour’s abandonment of its commitment to ordinary people. New Labour’s rightward shift is complete.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

Holyrood spending adds to finance crisis

As teachers in Scotland now vote to strike, SNP deputy first minister, John Swinney says there's no more money to fund public sector pay rises and blames Westminster.

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Sure, times are tough across the UK and beyond, but how about Swinney reflects on precisely how the SNP administration has chosen to spend taxpayer cash for the past 15 years?

The nationalists' focus has been on the provision of universal not targeted, needs-based spending - the opposite of Westminster's approach.

The provision of a raft of universal benefits has been a vote-winning SNP tactic - yet it means money has been squandered by spending on those not necessarily in need.

While not the only reason why Scotland is currently experiencing a severe financial crisis, this SNP approach has contributed to the current emergency.

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The tragic consequence is that the less well-off in Scotland are now at enhanced risk of suffering serious hardship.

Martin Redfern, Melrose.

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