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John Redwood redefines the NHS debate as "Conservative devolved efficiency" v "Labour's centralised waste"

Picture 10 Labour have been claiming for some time  that the debate over the NHS is one of "Tory cuts" v "Labour investment".

Yet the lie of this claim is again nailed today in a piece which John Redwood has written in today's Yorkshire Post:
"The Government often implies no cuts of any kind are possible without damaging front line services. So who said the NHS should face value for money savings of £8.2bn by 2010-11 compared to 2007-8? No, not David Cameron, but the Government.

"While implying in the political debate that the NHS is fully efficient, the Ministry is busy telling the NHS to become more efficient at the rate of 3.5 per cent a year in 2010-11, after demanding a 3 per cent improvement this year."
Whist accepting that both parties are committed to avoiding cuts in front line services, Mr Redwood summarises the big difference between the parties thus:
"The Conservatives want to delegate more power and authority from the centre and the quangos, to the wards and surgeries themselves. Labour believe in the efficacy of many national interventions, endless orders and requirements from a large number of national quangos, with regional authorities offering direction and budget control.

"The real row over health spending is not Tory cuts versus Labour investment as the Government wants you to believe. It is between Conservative claims of devolved efficiency and Labour's centralised waste."
Jonathan Isaby


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