Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

Cynical people might say that the coalition have put its NHS reform plans on hold because they can’t afford to do badly in the local elections, and they know how unpopular these will be.

Indeed one of Nick Clegg’s closest aides, Norman Lamb has threatened to quit unless the pace with which the proposed reforms are implemented are not slowed down.

He voiced his concerns over the issue of GP Led commissioning bodies on today’s Politics show. Is the honeymoon well and truly over for the coalition?  You can read the full story here.

Reform of the NHS might be on hold for two months (conveniently until after the election – did I already mention this?!) but schools haven’t been so lucky and will not escape the great sweeping (political) cuts the Tories seem to relish making.

Last week we heard news that schools face an unexpected budget cut of £155m this year. Naturally this has provoked fury in a move that has provoked fury from councils who fear it will disproportionately hit the poorest parts of the country.

What I find so astonishing about this news – which you can read here– is that the cut has been taken from a pot which pays for pressing needs such as free school meals or extra tuition for children who need help with literacy or numeracy.

So there we have it. Sweeping reform of the NHS, on hold for now but when it does come about will radically change the health service landscape, and will not improve it, I am sure of that. And our schools also face radical change; cuts cuts, cuts…this isn’t quite what Tony Blair had in mind with his slogan ‘Education Education Education’ back in 1997.

Yes our economic landscape is different now but I had hoped the coalition wouldn’t make its cuts a political act.

Finally, I wish the people in Holland my best wishes following the terrible shooting of innocent people in a shopping centre near Amsterdam at the weekend.

1 Comment

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One response to “Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

  1. Daniel Oxley

    Cuts cuts cuts. We all know that cuts do need to made but Labour can only tell us what should not be cut and that they should be made more slowly. What does Labour think should be cut? They are relentlessly engaged with the problem without offering a solution.

    Some of us are a little more sceptical than Mary about Tony Blair’s pronouncements from 1997. Wasn’t that the year when he told us his party would be ‘whiter than white’ and that we would have an ‘ethical foreign policy’?

    The one about ‘things can only get better’ was a good one. Like a good wine it got better with time and when Labour left office it was even truer than when they started.