South Wales East AM Lindsay Whittle’s blog: January 25
In his regular blog for Caerphilly Observer South Wales East AM Lindsay Whittle gives his take on recent news.
Private Sector Involvement in the NHS
It seems Labour MPs in Westminster, including both the Caerphilly and Islwyn MPs, are completely out of touch with their colleagues back here in Wales.
Twenty-three Labour MPs backed an opposition motion which stated there was an important role for the private sector in the delivery of NHS care. I wonder what Aneurin Bevan’s view of that would have been?
I’m got no objection to companies building private hospitals if they wish but involvement in the NHS as far as I’m concerned is a complete non-starter.
When the issue was raised in the Senedd by Plaid’s health spokesperson, the First Minister appeared embarrassed by his own party’s action in Westminster and who wouldn’t be? He made it clear that it was not the view of the Welsh Government that the private sector should play such a role and it is something I welcome.
The former Labour Welsh Health Minister has made her views very clear on involvement of the private sector in the past.
Labour MPs locally now need to explain to the public why they support any involvement of the private sector in NHS care.
A draft budget report has gone to councillors for consultation. It proposes for a second consecutive year council tax in the county borough should be frozen.
If the freeze is approved, it will mean that council tax at Band D will have risen by just over £45 during the four years of Plaid running the council. That’s nearly £100 less than the four years from 2004 when Labour was in control.
I’ve heard Labour desperately trying to rubbish this bold move which will help families and individuals with their budgeting. It is a significant monthly cost for families and in these really tough times, the council is doing all it can to help people.
Opposition councillors complain about the rise in some charges such as garage rents or the cost of bulky waste collection. Yes, some charges have risen but residents don’t pay those fees unless they use those services. And, of course, all households benefit if council tax is not increased.
I’m not surprised that Labour has been speaking out about the freeze in council tax given their record for raising it year on year. The facts are there for everyone to see – Plaid costs you less and leaves more of your money in your pocket.
Plaid Cymru South Wales East AM
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