23 Sep 2022
The BDA is dismayed at the mini-budget announced by the new Chancellor. There are dire implications for our NHS as we try to recover from the Covid-19 crisis. While the increase in National Insurance (NI) contributions were divisive and were not the right way to have funded NHS, they at least provided the NHS, its staff, and patients an understanding of how much money would be spent on NHS recovery.
The announcement once again leaves the NHS in the dark and unable to plan as the NI contribution is reversed and we’re merely promised that this funding will be met by general taxation. Yet, in the same breath the Government announces a wide range of cuts to taxation. We need the Government to come forward urgently and lay out exactly how it intends to fund our NHS, to tackle the growing crisis we are seeing. The BDA recommends that the Government introduce a progressive taxation system to properly fund health and social care in a way that does not punish the poorest in our society.
We’re also seeing the restrictive policies promised by the new Prime Minister during her leadership campaign becoming reality. The Chancellor’s announcement, placing further hurdles in front of workers’ ability to take strike action, is nothing more than an attempt to silence them. The right to strike is what has won the people of this country many of the benefits we have today, and has always been used as a last resort. We urge the Government not to take an antagonistic approach with trade unions but work with us to make the UK the best place to work in the world.
The BDA’s CEO Liz Stockley, says, “Now is not the time for ambiguity in the funding of our NHS. It is becoming clearer every day that our NHS is struggling with the ramifications of Covid-19 and a severe lack of resources.
"Sadly, many of these are not new problems understaffing and a lack of resources have been a problem long before the pandemic. We urgently need to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis with an above inflation pay award for all staff. This is part of a wider abandonment of Government as a driver of health, with the recent concerns about the Government’s measures to promote children's health, which may soon be dropped.
"The Government needs to prioritise the funding of our NHS, not uncapping bonuses for bankers.
"We urge our members to update their details with us to ensure that their views on the future of our NHS are heard.”