In response to CM's blog about Health Centres
Posted by Di_Hard on Mon, 20 Jun 2022
The idea that there is profit to be made from essential services is silly. It's like making fleas responsible for a cat.
Recently some non essential procedures were scrapped in Health centres. It was an option on a survey I was sent by our local council, on how to cut costs, so I wasn't sure how widespread it was. Then there was a bit about it on Health Check on radio 4, so it's not just here. One of the procedures no longer free from the Health Centre is cleaning out ears. Fairly unimportant you might think. However, it is cheap and quick. Also, it prevents onset of dementia and hugely improves quality of life, to be able to hear. People who have blocked up ears are not deaf, they just have blocked ears. The answer now is to pay to get them cleaned out at SpecSavers. However, not everyone has the money for this. Or for the transport to get to Specsavers (where we live it involves a ferry and long bus trip if by foot or extra ferry ticket for car) It is a thoughtless policy. According to Health Check another non essential service which has been dropped to save money, is cutting toe nails of elderly people. Why can't they cut their own toe nails? Because they can't reach, because toe nails are tougher as you get older, because they can't hold the scissors. Does it matter? If your toenails are really long they go sceptic, your feet hurt, you are more likely to fall. Resulting in broken bones, pain, hospitalisation, loss of independence. And higher costs
To have a decent Health Service tax revenue has to rise.
But most people who pay tax are struggling, they can't pay more. Everything is falling apart because so much money is being syphened off by 1%, the very highest earners, who don't make up the percentage of this extra money they make
There HAS to be a re organisation of tax.
I have lost count how many articles I've read saying wealthy people are paying less and less and less tax proprtionally to the rest of the workforce, and governments can't do anything about it.
What is so crazy is this drive for increased productivity, which makes it sound like workers are stupid and lazy and would produce much more if they were more efficient. But actually means that what's produced is fine, but employers want to have fewer employees doing it, so as to increase profits. However fewer employees means fewer tax payers.
Tax payers are the ones governments tend to worry about. They don't care at all about people who don't pay taxes. The more productivity increases the more people there will be who have no use in the eyes of the government. It is no good someone in charge saying they want higher wages for the workforce, if most of the work is being done by computers and robots. There's so much reverence for artificial intelligence, actual intelligence seems to have disappeared from decision making.
Radio 4 has had several discussions about whether we are going into a time like the 70's, and that the only way to avoid this is not to increase wages to keep up with inflation, which is what Labour did, then. But already services are cut to the bone, and some working people are relying on food banks. There is fuel shortage in Winter to worry about, how to pay for the war. Let alone that we need to transition to renewable energy and get away from economic growth based on using natural recources. Instead of trying to cut costs we should be looking at the rich elephant in the room.
Another thing I have learned from listening to economics programs, is that what business needs more than anything, is stability. This is going to become a rare state as wealth inequality grows. We have had one scapegoat attempt in the Uk. People will work out eventually that Brexit didn't fix their problems. And all over the world, populations are losing trust in their governments because they can't fulfil the promises they made to get elected, because they don't have the money, because that wealthiest 1% won't share
We are going to get to a time soon when it will be impossible to change our governments, either because the vote is once again denied to the majority of people, or because the options are so similar any difference is window dressing. We need now to listen to what political parties are not saying more than what they are saying, because promises can be broken, and in the silences things we have taken to be rights will be stripped away.
Do we want a decent Health Service, or chirpy clips at the end of the news about how much someone has paid for a trip to the moon?