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 benefit withdrawn?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.
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Northern Doc was once a blog originally written by a group of GPs in Northernshire and expressed their experiences and frustrations of working in today's NHS. The pieces were compiled at social meetings after work and published anonymously in a once free society. Following the Government's Medical Council clamp down on freedom of thought, speech and expression by doctors and our belief that the views of a few doctors DO NOT represent the views of the profession as a whole their views will now be written by and published by a journalist who has previously contributed to the blog by virtue of social ties. Any inference that the word Doc means a doctor is now purely coincidental. This is as of the 22 April 2013.