Yesterday (22nd February 2017) at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) Jeremy Corbyn repeatedly grilled Theresa May about the on-going funding crisis in the NHS — May’s response was typical of what we have to expect at this point: deny there’s a problem, and claim that Labour want to “bankrupt the economy” and ‘spend money on everything”.
The truth, however, is that after 7 years of Tory rule and the pain of austerity, government debt has risen yet again — and the deficit has risen far more under the Tories than under Labour — according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The Tories like to portray themselves as having sound economic principles — the opposite is true: mainstream economists have all but discredited austerity at this point, as have financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Public services are being purposely underfunded through austerity — the Tories are manufacturing a crisis in the NHS in order to privatise it — Dr’s are going on strike, and nurses are using food banks — wages have fallen since 2008 — millions are living in poverty — and millions more are on the brink of it — people have died and been made homeless as a result of Tory austerity.
We were told that austerity was the necessary pain needed to save the country from certain economic collapse — yet the Tories continue to ramp up debt — whilst cutting vital public services — clearly something has gone very, very wrong.
Or more accurately from the Tories point of view: very, very, right.
Corbyn attacked May at yesterday’s PMQs over the ever-growing funding crisis in the NHS, saying:
I asked the Prime Minister why one in six A&E units are currently set for closure or downgrading; she did not answer.
One of the problems—she well knows this—is the £4.6 billion cut to social care, which has a knock-on effect.
Corbyn also bashed her over the cuts to nurses’ bursaries, saying the Tories claimed they would:
create an extra 10,000 training places in this Parliament.
Has this target been met?
Corbyn finished by outlining the crisis in the NHS saying:
Nine out of 10 NHS trusts are unsafe
18,000 patients a week are waiting on trolleys in hospital corridors and 1.2 million often very dependent.
He was then interrupted by the usual shouting and wailing from the house. After they settled Corbyn continued:
It seems to me that some Members are not concerned about the fact that there are 1.2 million elderly people who are not getting the care they need. The legacy of her Government will blight our NHS for decades: fewer hospitals, fewer A&E departments, fewer nurses and fewer people getting the care they need. We need a Government who will put the NHS first and will invest in our NHS.
May (as usual) had no answers other than claiming that the Tories were spending more money on the NHS, she also paid lip service to NHS staff saying:
Our NHS staff are working hard
May then went onto to claim that:
Labour’s policy is to spend money on everything, which means bankrupting the economy and having no money to spend on anything. That does not help doctors and nurses, it does not help patients, it does not help the NHS, and it does not help ordinary working families up and down this country.
Labour says we should learn lessons. I will tell the House who should learn lessons: the Labour party, which still fails to recognise that if you are going to fund the NHS—we are putting money in, and there are more doctors, more operations and more nurses—you need a strong economy. We now know, however, that Labour has a different sort of phrase for its approach to these things. Remember when it used to talk about “boom and bust”? Now it is borrow and bankrupt.
As has now become standard practice for May: her response is a lie. In fact, it would be more surprising if she actually told the truth — something she appears to be chronically incapable of.
May’s claim that Labour would bankrupt the country is frankly ludicrous — given that Tory austerity policies have lead to ever increasing government debt, and a growing deficit according to the latest statistics released by the ONS. In their January 2017 report the ONS clearly show that the Tories are the ones bankrupting the country and have been doing so for the last 7 years.
They also show how much the Tories have borrowed over the last few years:
And this is the deficit under the Tories — notice that at the height of austerity in 2012 the deficit ballooned. The figures also show that under the Labour government of 1998-2001 they ran a budget surplus. And that (unsurprisingly) the Tories before them were also running a deficit.
And public sector debt has also rapidly expanded under the Tories.
So the Tories have not been bringing in enough from tax to fund services, and have instead borrowed, which in turn adds to the debt. This is why we need real economic growth, in order to increase tax returns and get the economy moving again.
We should also increase corporation tax, which the chancellor Phillip Hammond has now cut to the lowest in the G20. Something which Hammond bragged about as if we should all be jumping for joy at this particular screw job.
The often cited reason for this is that it will help attract businesses and thus they will invest in the economy — there is no evidence for this, in fact studies have shown the opposite to be true. Corporations simply sit on the extra money that they make through cuts in corporation tax, rather than re-investing it in productive endeavors.
There is also the fact that over £300 Billion has been chucked into the banks through quantitative easing since 2008 (under Labour, but continued by the Tories since)— the supposed positive results to the general public are yet to be seen — no doubt they never will be.
Add to this the fact that public debt only expanded in the first place when the banks were bailed out by Former Labour Prime Minster Gordon Brown for billions of taxpayers money in the crash of 2008 — and we have continued to be punished ever since for the financial sectors utter recklessness ever since. Barclays just announced record profits of £3.2 Billion — the bailout of banks cost £850 Billion.
When the Tories came into power 7 years ago it was quite easy for them to blame Labour for the economic mess — but the recovery is basically non-existent at this point, and due to the austerity measures things are far worse 7 years later.
So after 7 years of this hell are still supposed to believe May when she claims that Labour are the reckless ones with the economy?
What a complete farce — as usual the mainstream media have all but failed to report on the Tories disastrous economic policies — mainly because the mainstream media is owned by people who benefit from these policies (of course).
We live a country where nurses are using foodbanks, Dr’s are going on strike, A and E’s are being shut down at a rapid pace, homelessness has more than doubled under the Tories, and is now at the same level as it was during the victorian times — living standards are decreasing — people are killing themselves because of things like sanctions, and an increasingly punitively cruel welfare system. The reason for which we are told is because the Tories are saving the country from economic doom — all the evidence shows completely the opposite is happening.
But no doubt despite the obvious chaos this is causing in the population, a large part of the population will fail to see what is right in front of their noses.
The Tories much peddled lines about being the ones we can trust with the economy are complete and utter bollocks.
They always accuse Labour of just piling up debt to pay for stuff meanwhile they pile up debt and we all suffer at the same time.
The situation perfectly illustrates the cruelest trick of Tory rule: convincing the working-class and poor that they give a f*ck about them, whilst taking their rights, wealth, services and dignity away from them.
Watch the full Corbyn Vs May PMQs from 22nd Febraury 2017: