Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Spot the difference?

It appears that 2 out of the 3 members of the current Tripartite political system who appear united in their view that market good, NHS bad are having a little disagreement over child benefit. Nothing new about that you might think apart from the fact that child benefit is paid at present to all parents and is not means tested. So if you procreate in the UK regardless of income the Party rewards your horizontal (or otherwise) jogging session(s) with a freebie. The more you jog the more you get no questions asked. It is a “right”.

One only needs to listen to our staff and our patients talking about the fact that contraception is freely available and yet their taxes are paying for people not to work and bring up large families to realize that a lot of people feel this is not a "right". This is but one view and certainly one very strongly held by a vocal group who have worked and brought up their own children on relatively low incomes compared with MPs or their evil under worked golf playing GPs.

But is there a more sinister subplot here the withdrawal of a universal benefit from some parents with children but not from all parents with children?

Is not the NHS a universal benefit? Where could this lead? If you earn above a certain level might you have certain elements of  other (NHS?) benefit withdrawn? Most "benefits" are means tested.

After all the counter argument to the one above we propose is that if you are rich enough (to have children) you can afford it (to do without child benefit) and therefore afford healthcare (for your children)? Or will there be a stealth introduction of withdrawal of benefit (co-payment) for the wealthier parent (patient)?

If 2 out of the 3 Tripartite members are disagreeing now how long will it be before all 3 agree? Think NHS and privatization over the years. Once they were poles apart now you can barely separate them with a piece of paper.

Is this yet another sign of the creep that the Witch Doctor in her blog alludes to?

Think about it.

Praise be to the Party for continuing to promote equality for all when it comes to universal provision of benefit. You know it makes sense? Can’t wait for the budget.


Anonymous said...

Monster Headphones

Anonymous said...

It happens round the fringes. Say you're making a claim for ESA. The DWP is prepared to pay a GP to complete an ESA113 if they send him one, but they're not obliged to send one and increasingly are telling claimants to get their own reports for which the claimants have to pay.

Further, if you're turned down, the DWP won't pay for any report needed to appeal. All you can do is grovel to your GP who's been advised by the BMA that it's not for him to be writing letters in support of appeals.

But people claiming benefits are scroungers, or so the government wants to tell us, so their right to have a report from the NHS that has treated them in support (or otherwise) of a benefits claim is being gradually whittled away.