HEALTH:What I want to know is where has all the money gone? According to Brown we have had "record spending" on health and education, if so, then it looks like a massive chunk of that money has been wasted. You know, I really do think that Labour know nothing about money handling or the economy. When we were doing well financially Brown spent more and more and he even borrowed money to continue spending beyond our means.
Hospitals: The number of NHS hospital beds has fallen by 32,000 since Labour came to power. Last year saw a record cut in numbers, despite fears that this leads to overcrowding in the remaining wards and a higher risk of superbug infections. Daily Mail.
Maternity Wards: More than 2,000 maternity beds have been lost since 1997. Research by the Conservatives found that last year, 42 per cent of maternity units had refused to accept women in labour on at least one occasion. Telegraph.
GPs: The government's policy is to consolidate doctors' surgeries into a series of giant health centres, or polyclinics. Thousands of small practices will be closed and patients will be processed in buildings containing up to 50 GPs. The new clinics will also house some services at present provided by hospitals, which allows the government to claim that it is bringing healthcare "closer to home". The net effect will be a massive reduction in convenience. Guardian.
Dentists: Nearly 80 per cent of the population no longer has an NHS dental service. But rather than going private here, increasing numbers of people are heading abroad. It may be cheaper but, as Olga Craig discovers, the personal costs can be horrific. A survey, last week, of 5,000 patients and 750 dentists revealed that Britain is now so woefully short of state-funded dentists that one in 20 people say they have resorted to some style of DIY dentistry — a handful agonisingly pulling out their own teeth with pliers — because the soaring cost of private treatment is way beyond their means. Telegraph.
Schools: Figures published in February show that schools are being shut at a rate of nearly one a day, mainly in rural areas. Since 2002, some 1,704 schools - primary and secondary - have been shut in England. Those on sites which have now been sold will never re-open. Daily Mail.
League Tables: Britain’s young workers are among the lowest achievers at GCSE or equivalent in a league table of countries published today. The results show that Britain has plummeted to 22nd of 29 countries, from 14th place 40 years ago, despite its pupils attaining ever-higher grades. They raise fears that an underclass is emerging, increasingly unsuited to the job market as manual work declines and competition grows from abroad. Times.
Truancy: Truancy rates among pupils in England rose last year to their highest level since records began in 1997, new government figures showed yesterday. Nearly 230,000 pupils were classified as persistent absentees, meaning they missed more than 20% of school. Overall the number of missed lessons - including those lost to illness - decreased, but unauthorised absences rose to 1% of all school hours, indicating that 63,000 pupils were skipping class on an average day. Guardian.
Now we are heading for a very sticky patch, Brown has nothing in the cupboard but a pile of loan agreement forms. For God's sake, Gordon Brown is now depending on the Unions to stop his party from going bankrupt. They can't even manage their party finances - what hope have we got that they can run the country's?
UPDATE: As if by magic from SKY: The Prime Minister has reacted to the Labour party's poor performance in the Henley by-election saying: "by-elections come and by-elections go".Responding to the news that Labour came in fifth place, behind the BNP, Gordon Brown added: "Of course we have to listen to what people say. "But my main job is to improve our public services, to get the economy moving forward, to make sure that in the health service and education people have the best services that they want and I am going to continue to do that." Yeah..... right.