“The NHS cannot afford five more years of David Cameron”, the Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, said last week referring to revelations that the Tories had originally planned to CUT the number of nurses working in the NHS. He promised that Labour would fund 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more GPs.
The Tories original plan for the NHS, Labour revealed, was to cut the number of full-time NHS nurses by 1,966 by 2019, more than 1,500 of them mental health posts.
Further analysis by the independent House of Commons library revealed the numbers were already dwindling. The latest NHS workforce census, which showed the number of nurses per million people in the UK had fallen from 5,324 in 2009 to 5,172 in 2014.
Meanwhile, recognising the very poor press zero hours contracts get, the Tories have decided to re-brand them. But whichever way you cut it-flexible hours, zero hours, or no hours, they are still bad, as Barbara Ellen writes: “Great news: everyone can stop worrying about nasty, unfair zero-hours contracts because Iain Duncan Smith has rebranded them and made them sound nice.
“The Conservative work and pensions secretary thinks that the phrase ‘zero-hours contracts’ is too negative, and wants to replace it with ‘flexible hours’. Did you see what he did there? It’s even better than Esther McVey’s ‘enabling hours’,” Ellen added.
What the Tories don’t understand is that ‘hard working families’, as they are so fond of calling the working population, need job security to enable them to provide a stable environment family environment- something else the Tories think it’s so important for us all to deliver on, only they refuse to give us the means with which to carry this out.
The Tories tell us that they support the family and ‘hard working people’, yet by embracing zero hour contracts they fail to understand that the precarious nature of these contracts is a way to simply re-dress ‘insecurity’ with ‘flexibility’- as Chuka Umunna, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Business, innovation and Skills, sagely described it.
You can read Barbara Ellen’s article in full here.