Labour claims Conservative councillors back extra NHS charges

20 Apr 15

A poll of Conservative councillors has found support for greater use of charges and privatisation within the NHS, the Labour party has claimed today.

The survey of 115 councillors conducted by Labour found that 26 backed charges for GP appointments and other NHS services, 12 supported for privatisation or increased use of the private sector, while a further six wanted to cut to NHS spending.

However, the Conservatives said the party had over 8,000 councillors in the UK, meaning the survey represented only a tiny fraction of their representation.

Launching the poll as part of Labour’s week of campaigning on the NHS, Labour leader Ed Miliband, warned that the Tory plans on the NHS were ‘a double deceit’.

‘They are not being straight about their extreme plans to double the cuts to public services next year. And they are not being straight when they promise to protect the NHS, but cannot say where a penny of additional money will come from,’ Miliband said.

‘This double deceit is a double danger to the NHS. They have extreme spending plans and they can’t tell us where the money is coming from. David Cameron poses a risk to the very fabric and foundation of our NHS.’

In response, a Conservative spokesman said the Labour survey marked ‘a new low in Ed Miliband’s desperate attempts to weaponise the NHS’.

‘His credibility on health is in tatters because he refuses to fund the £8bn the NHS needs. By building a stronger economy, we have protected and improved the NHS with 9,500 more doctors, 6,900 more nurses, and 1.3 million more life-saving operations every year,’ he said.

  • Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith Ugwumadu joined Public Finance International and Public Finance online as a reporter after stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express. Currently, she writes about public finance, public services and economics.

    Follow her on @JudithUgwumadu_

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