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NHS not a 'soft touch' for cuts, warns union


A union leader is to warn political parties against making cuts in the NHS and pledge to build alliances to fight attacks on the service.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of UNISON, will tell the union’s health workers’ conference in Brighton that the NHS is not a “soft touch” for cuts.

He will tell hundreds of health workers, including nurses, paramedics, therapists, hospital porters, cleaners and midwives, that public service workers would stand “shoulder to shoulder” to protect jobs and services.

He will praise the government’s manifesto commitment to ensure public sector pensions are secure and sustainable in the long term.

Speaking about the damage inflicted by the recession he will say: “Whoever is returned to power they have to learn that cuts to public service budgets won’t help our recovery - they will hold it back. They’ve got to learn that just as unbridled market forces wrecked our financial system, they’ll wreak havoc in our public services too.

“Unison will not stand idly by and let our members in the NHS pay for the financial crisis with their jobs, with cuts to their pay, or to the vital care they deliver to our communities. Whether they are fighting to keep their A&E open or demanding action over cuts - we will be right there with them.”

Mr Prentis will warn that the NHS is “simply not safe” in the hands of the Conservatives, adding: “Cameron’s plans to cut hard and fast, his give-away taxes to the super-rich, mean that it is impossible to protect the NHS from devastating cuts.”


Readers' comments (7)

  • Cuts in the NHS are inevitable. Is there a good reason as to why the NHS should be shielded from cuts when other parts of the public sector will not be?

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  • Above - another nieve union hating right winger who will probably vote tory. Read the papers pall.

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  • The good reason the NHS should not be cut - is that we have been cut to the bare bone already.

    Yes there are people in the NHS on fat cat wages and pensions as there are in all public sector professions at a executive the level - but the majority of the staff at the front line - the ones who actually meet the patients- are on reasonable( if not poor) salaries with reasonable ( if not poor)pensions after a career of hard work - and also it is those same executive individuals who will wield the cuts directly at those who earn the least and do the most. I cant imagine they will say - ok - I will cut my salary and pension and have less assistants to help me do my job - can you?
    it doesnt need cuts - it needs a review of all executive posts and senior manager posts and 'back room' posts - rationalisation of said posts and put the money back into the front line pot to improve direct patient care.

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  • Anonymous | 19-Apr-2010 2:13 pm

    Naive. I think you'll find that's the correct spelling. In case you've ignored the fiscal policies of the last 13 years I'll quickly bring you up to speed.

    Deregulation of the money markets gave Gordon lot's of extra cash from taxes on the city to lavish on the public sector. He also borrowed a load and spent it without spelling out any measureable increases in productivity. Market crashed. NO MORE MONEY, borrowing's went up and so did interest on said borrowing. For an economist I'd say that was pretty naive, wouldn't you?

    The job's haven't gone yet because you can't be trusted to vote for them again if you knew what state the balance sheet was.

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  • I spelt pal wrong too; tories were in when I went to school. You've spouted a load of old untrue gobbledygook and I just can't be bothered to argue with the likes any more.

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  • Go on fella, give it a go. Tell us all what a great job that the Labour party have done for the NHS, why we're back to the internal market after 13 years and why we should be filling our breeks at the very thought of the tories getting into power. They were in when I was a lad too. I hated em ditto. But at least they never pretended to be for the working man. Or woman. Unlike the clowns we have now. But not for much longer, hey?

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  • Super Rich. Done pretty well under a Labour government last time I bothered to look. Hypocrites.

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