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Personally I have never had much time for the Taxpayers Alliance as I think a lot of waht they say and believe can be sumed up by the slogan, "As long as I`m alright sod the rest!"
When you are getting cuts in the health services that mean doctors and nureses are losing there jobs and the sick are waiting longer to be treated I think the party would not only be commitiing political suicide if they as much as mentioned tax cuts but it would be nothing more than obscene to do so.

Jack - you may care to read Jesse Norman's excellent book which clearly indicates that the state and society arent the same thing - and that the growth of the state hasn't necessarily lead to an improvement in services for thepublic.

I will be conducting an interview with Jesse Norman this week, and also a separate one with Matthew Elliott Chief Exec of the TPA - so if anyone has any specific questions they'd like asked just email:- [email protected]

Jack Stone parrots Labour propaganda.

The problems in the NHS are quite clearly due to complete mismanagement. The budget has expanded massively yet the problems just seem to get bigger.

Tactically, calling for tax cuts may be courageous, but after 9 years of Brownian Larceny, the economy will die without them. Then where will the NHS's budget come from.

Tax Cuts are not an "I'm alright Jack" policy, but rather a recognition that people spend their own money more wisely than other people can.

Jack, how big a percentage of GDP would you like to see spent on "skoolsnospitals"? 50%? 60%? 75% Presumably, given the New Labour/Blue Labour/Lib Dem consensus that more taxation and public spending is always better, you should be demanding a return to Denis Healeyesque levels of taxation on "evil corporations" and the "idle rich". Indeed, wouldn't it be "obscene" to demand anything else with unemployed doctors and nurses begging in the streets; and the sick being thrown into the gutter to die....

If you want to have a policy of tax cuts you have to explain to people clearly that you are not going to cut services such as the NHS and also people will not have to pay for healthcare when they need it.
I am afriad that god himself would not be able to persuade people that this would not be the result of tax cuts as that is clearly what people believe at present rightly or wrongly.
We have to go in and run public services better than Labour. We have to cut out the wasteful spending, end the draining of resources that is happening through PFI and the contracting out of services to the private sector. Only then will we have a chance of convincing people we believe in the public services and we can run them better than Labour and is only then will the public trust us to cut taxes without cutting services.

Of course, one possibility for a "second front" is the collapse of New Labour's defence policy, although I don't think we "do" defence any more.

"We have to go in and run public services better than Labour". Please explain how this is going to happen when the Little Englanders who run the Conservative Party have already rejected every method used in Continental Europe and the US to make public services more responsive to ordinary people; to depoliticise them; and to make money follow the patient/pupil? The Tory Party's thinking is out-of-date even compared to the Swedish Social Democrats!!

The only good news in this area has nothing to do with the Tories. Hell will have frozen over long before they stop believing in a flat earth. Meanwhile the European Court has just ruled that I can go to France and Germany for prompt medical treatment, ignoring the waste, bureaucratic mess, fiddled statistics and waiting lists in the UK. What's more, the NHS will have to pay for my treatment! Win-win for the taxpayer. Big black eye for the politicians and the other vested interests who run the NHS for their own benefit. Those judges in Luxembourg have dared to think the unthinkable: a public service that serves the public. How very non-seventies Britain.

Quite right Jack. We cut out the waste you have referred to and cut taxes. What could be simpler than that.

The NHS's major problem is the mission creep over the last 50 years. It was never intended as a mechanism to provide publically funded healthcare to the middle classes, but as a safety net for those who could not afford to provide their own healthcare. The idea was that those who could afford should make their own provision, rather than simply paying tax to have it regurgigated to them by the NHS.

The sooner this is realised, the better.

Cutting waste in the NHS isn`t about tax cuts in the short term its about making the NHS better and more efficient.
People want a health service that is free at the point of use and I am afriad that will never change. Anyone who attempts to start to charge people for health care will simply face political suicide.
At the moment a lot of the crisis in the budget is being caused by PFI and the use of private companies in the NHS who are far more expensive then the state. Personally I believe using private health companies is not the way forward for the NHS. They are far more expensive and I think its wrong that money should be taken out of the NHS to fund greater profits for the private sector and bigger dividends for there share holders.
We must accept and I am glad that David Cameron as said this that the NHS should be funded out of tax and be within the state sector. I believe we need to examine ways of making it better and more efficient not spending time thinking how we can privatise it, charge people for health care or use the private sector as some sort of salvation for it which it definatly is not.

Jack Stone @ 17.14: "We must accept and I am glad that David Cameron as said this that the NHS should be funded out of tax and be within the state sector. I believe we need to examine ways of making it better and more efficient not spending time thinking how we can privatise it, charge people for health care or use the private sector as some sort of salvation for it which it definatly is not".
I agree with Jack Stone's main point about making the NHS more efficient. An analogy could be with the success of grant mainatined schools under the last tory government. Governing bodies and heads were given funding direct and were made fully responsible for how they used it. A friend of mine who was head of such a school told me of the improvements thay had been able to make, including taking on more teachers.
I take issue only with the assertion that people don't pay if they use the NHS now; they do, if they need a dentist.

Second Front Now.
There is a palpable tension between image and policy but I fully understand why DC and FM do not want to put detailed policy on display yet.
However, they could remind us at regular intervals that all the "red meat" is ccoking slowly in the background; that policies on the hard subjects like tax, immigration, Europe etc are under active scrutiny.
Also, I believe that there are certain issues that we can confront vigorously now, those where (i) what we have to say on the subject is more attractive than the status quo under Nulab and (ii) where there is little or no chance that Nulab would pinch our ideas for their own.
Competence in management is just one; in the red corner, you have the Home Office, Defra, the NHS, the DfES (and, perhaps especially at the moment, the economy) etc.
Incompetence is there for all to see. But can we convince the electorate that we will manage these same things better? That is an urgent task.
I understand our hesitations on tax. But we can state categorically that we will simplify the tax system (Gordon doesn't do simplification). We can point out that Labour is historically the party that increases tax (Gordon has put them up 80 times and Tax Freedom Day gets later and later).
We have to be careful what we say but we can point to tax reduction being more likely under the tories than Labour and that, once we have actually achieved savings by reducing waste, we can then look to reducing taxes - but never at the expense of essential services.

When are the Tories going to stop bleating about the NHS? There’ll never be a really world-class healthcare system in the UK if we don’t accept that the present system is a busted flush. Harping on continually about ‘making the NHS more efficient’ or ‘saving the NHS’ makes about as much sense as talk of improving the phone system by ‘making BT more efficient’ or improving the car industry by pumping more taxpayers’ money into British Leyland. They’re yesterday’s answers to yesterday’s questions. And they didn’t work anyway. Why should they work for healthcare?

If the British healthcare system is as good as it’s cracked up to be, why has scarcely any civilised country introduced something similar? The best of the bunch – in mainland Europe for example - have mixed systems of public and private funding developed over many decades, with more devolved structures and offering more flexibility and freedom of choice. The year-zero fanatics who pioneered the NHS did a good job of rewriting history by rubbishing Britain’s pre-war healthcare arrangements, but we may well (I’m too young to remember) have had the basics of a promising system in the UK until it was ditched in favour of a Soviet-style centrally planned monolith.

And what makes the Tories think that they will run the NHS so much more efficiently? State-controlled monopolies have only a very limited capacity for efficiency gains. The Tories could tinker a bit round the edges but if they think they’re going to make big improvements whilst maintaining the same top-down system they’re dreaming. And they’re conning the voters too.

If we want a healthcare system that even begins to match the ones in other developed countries – and the British public deserve nothing less - someone will have to face up to this reality some time and come clean with the electorate. It will need courage, honesty, determination and huge political skill. Only the Tories are capable of the vision needed. But are they up to it?

An excellent post with which I totally agree. I wish the Conservative party had enough 'guts' to slaughter the sacred cow that the NHS has become. Times and people's expectations have moved on since the late 1940s.

I now live in Thailand and at the beginning of the year needed surgery which I decided to have in Bangkok rather than return to the UK.

The service I have had ~ and am still receiving ~ from one of the large International Hospitals in Bangkok are second to none. It's far better than anything the NHS could offer.

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