In the past week we have seen yet another banker in the news with Bob Diamond at the heart of the LIBOR fraud at Barclays. An act which potentially impacts us all in some form through our mortgages and savings. In the same week NHS Trusts have admitted that they are considering terminating all contracts and reoffering them on worse terms including a 5% pay cut.
These 2 news stories have got me asking myself ‘what the fuck is going on in the world?’. Seriously Dave how can these 2 events be occurring at the same time? Bob Diamond resigns from his job after taking responsibility for the fraudulent activities, yet walks away with £2m after turning down another £20m. Yet nurses are working harder than ever and are being told they will be taking a 5% pay cut and losing overtime pay.
My wife is a nurse, I know first hand how hard they work. How they put they body and soul into the job. How they come home and burst into tears when a child they are looking after can’t be saved and dies. They work long long hours that start early and finish late. They work nights and weekends, bank holidays and christmas day. They pay £10 a day to park after all the hospital car parks were changed to pay and display. They don’t earn a lot of money, my wife has been a nurse for 5 years and still earns less than £25,000.
If these plans go ahead then I can guarantee you this, you’ll have one less nurse in the NHS to worry about.
So Dave, let me give you some advice. If you want to stand any home, and let’s be honest it’s a slim hope, you need to fix this issue and you need to fix it now. Yes the NHS needs to save money, but cutting staff wages isn’t the solution. That is only going to result in people quitting and then you’ll have to employ more expensive agency staff. Those that do stay will have even lower moral and work less effectively and don’t expect any school leaver to even consider training as a nurse if that is the prospects for the job.
But I’m not a man to simply complain, oh no, I have solutions for you and you can have these for free. An NHS Trust with a turnover of £200m a year needs to make savings of £9m per year, so how about these for some alternative ideas:
- Take the £20m that Bob Diamond didn’t accept ‘because he wanted to do the right thing’ and give it to the NHS. Bingo 2 years paid for.
- Keeping with the Barclays theme, they expect to pay bonuses totalling £1.5bn this year. If we taxed that at just an extra 5% that would bring in £75m by my calculations. That’s just over 8 years of savings paid for and from just one bank. Expand to the rest and that’s almost problem solved and those guys won’t miss 5%.
- But there is one more little gem, another low hanging fruit and a favourite topic of mine. Let’s get rid of the house of lords, they cost us £17m a year. That’s 2 of our NHS Trusts sorted without having to lift a finger at the hospital. Sure it’s nice having a second house to debate legislation but personally I’d give that up for a few more nurses.
- Finally how about cancelling the Trident missile replacement? According to Basic, a think tank, the UK could save £1.86bn a year if it was cancelled. I think that might just address the cost of nurses issue don’t you? Do we really need a missile system that if deployed would most likely mean the end of the world?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts Dave but won’t hold my breath.
P.S. First thing I’m doing tomorrow morning is signing up my family for private healthcare.