Monday, 9 March 2015

£70 billion of Tory spending cuts will put the NHS at risk

£70 billion of Tory spending cuts will put the NHS at risk

Conservative spending plans will mean £70 billion of cuts to public spending if the Tories win the election - more than double the amount admitted to by David Cameron and George Osborne – an analysis by Labour exposes today.

If the £70 billion of spending cuts, minus the £12 billion George Osborne has pledged to cut from social security spending, were applied equally to non-protected departments they would lead to unprecedented cuts to vital public services such as policing, defence and social care.

The cuts would be so extreme that they would lead to the smallest police force since comparable records began, the smallest army since Cromwell and over a third of older people receiving social care losing their entitlement to it.

These cuts are unprecedented, extreme and close to impossible to deliver. As a result there is a real risk that the Chancellor will be forced to break his promise to ring-fence the NHS. All other countries that have implemented spending reductions on this scale since 1945 have cut health spending.

And after their broken pledge not to have a top-down re-organisation of the NHS in this Parliament, the British people know that the Tories have form when it comes to broken promises on the NHS.

So the choice for the British people is now clear. A tough, but balanced and fair plan to deliver rising living standards and get the deficit down with Labour.

Or an extreme and risky plan under the Tories for bigger spending cuts in the next four years than the last five years which would cause huge damage to our public services and put our NHS at risk.

And the Tories now have a choice too. They can either say that these unprecedented, extreme and close to impossible cuts to our police, armed forces and social care are the true consequences of their spending plans.

Or they can confess that their plans are in fact impossible to achieve without breaking their promise to protect the NHS.

Today: Tory failure on free schools

Britain only succeeds when we use the talents of all young people. But on David Cameron's watch, we've seen a widening of the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. The Tory plan is failing young people and their parents, with a third of all free schools found to be underperforming, compared to less than a fifth of all state schools.

The Government is spending hundreds of millions of pounds on Free Schools in areas that already have enough school places. 83 per cent of Free Schools that opened this year were not full on opening and some have been near-empty – a waste of resources when there is a crisis in primary school places.

The Government has already lost over £1 million on cancelled or withdrawn Free Schools that never opened. The total cost of Free Schools that have failed their Ofsted inspections is at least £50 million.

Labour has a better plan. We will target investment at areas in need of new places, allowing us to cap class sizes for five, six and seven year olds at 30 pupils or less.
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