7000 job losses have been announced this week but Business minister Baroness Vadera can quite incredibly see ‘a few green shoots’ of economic recovery. You have to wonder what planet some of these ministers are living on and whether they have any contact with the real world.
Despite billions of pounds having been pumped into the health and education systems during the past 12 years by the Labour Government, the quality of service in both areas remains unsatisfactory. Two stories which show the wastefulness of the Labour era have been highlighted this week. The first is the failure of 340 000 children to attain 5 GCSE grades A-C including English and maths with one in seven schools, a total of 440 failing to ensure that at least 30% of their pupils got five A*-C GCSEs. The education education education mantra has been assigned to the dustbin as far too many children continue to receive an inadequate education.
The second is the news that Britain has fewer hospital beds per head of population than almost any other European country, with half as many as Lithuania and Hungary. This is a terrible indictment on Labour’s wasteful spending. Most people didn’t need to see official statistics to know that hospitals are always short of beds – their personal experience will have confirmed this. But it is a deeply worrying and depressing statistic that shows how reckless this Government has been in dealing with the health service.
Value for money isn’t something this Government has understood. It has spent like an addict without ensuring the appropriate increases in the delivery of services. Bureaucracy has been bloated and we are now left with so much Government debt that it will take this and the next generation to pay it off without having the high quality services that the borrowed money should have delivered.
Today’s announcement by the Government of the £20bn loan guarantee to small and medium-sized firms to help them deal with the recession is a watered down rip of Tory Policy announced by David Cameron a few weeks ago. This follows fast on the heels of the Tory policy to subsidise employers to take on people who have been out of work being adopted by the Government a few days ago.
Admittedly the Conservatives are calling for loan guarantees of £50bn but its very odd that the the Government accuses the Conservatives of being the ‘do nothing party’ (repeated again at PMQ’s by Brown today) when facing the most serious economic downturn this country has seen for decades yet is prepared to steal adopt policies put forward by the Conservatives.
If Gordon Brown and his team are unable to come up with ideas and policies of their own and are simply going to adopt everything the Conservatives propose – obviously after criticising them first, why don’t they just ask the Tories to take over and do everything to deal with the recession?