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UK General Election 2015
General Election 2015: Minor Party Spotlight
The National Health Action Party
The NHS is one of the biggest election issues for voters next week. The ‘mainstream’ parties – Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats – have all been competing amongst themselves to promise the UK electorate billions of extra money for services.
However, the National Health Action Party, which is fielding candidates in twelve constituencies, has said that these same parties are living in “cloud-cuckoo land”.
The NHA party is made up of doctors, nurses and medical workers, set up in 2012 against the policies of the coalition. Their party’s aim is to make health the No.1 issue.
Its co-leader Clive Peedell, who is a cancer doctor from Middlesbrough, is standing against Prime Minister David Cameron, while another candidate, London GP Dr Louise Irvine, is fighting Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in his South West Surrey seat.
A familiar figure is fellow co-leader Dr Richard Taylor. Taylor, as an independent won the Wyre Forest seat in 2001. His campaign, showing the strength of the NHS as an issue was off the back of a campaign to save Kidderminster Hospital’s A&E department.
- They claim that £20bn efficiency savings over the next five years will not cover a £30bn shortfall. Instead, they believe the NHS should get an immediate £4.5bn cash injection followed by cash rises of 4% a year. If inflation stays low, this would probably cover the entire £30bn, negating the need for efficiency savings.
- Save £4.5bn a year can be saved in bureaucracy by dismantling the market structures, while there is potential for another £2bn from renegotiating private finance initiative (PFI) hospital deals
- Repealing the 2012 Health and Care Act and end the purchaser-provider split in the health service which is creating too much internal competition.
- Free prescriptions
- Free personal care for help such as washing and dressing
- 10,000 extra GPs
To pay for it all the party would:
- Put 1p more on the basic rate of income tax
- Raise the upper rate from 45p to 50p
- Introduce a financial transaction tax of between 0.1% and 0.5%
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