The economic ignorance of English Health Secretary Steve Barclay is breathtaking. He claims the Government can’t “afford” to pay junior doctors enough to live on – their pay has fallen by more than a quarter over a decade – and is offering a lousy 2% when inflation is running at 10%.

Moreover, the Tories insist that if they give in to pay demands, inflation will worsen.

Nonsense. The NHS doesn’t charge for its services so how could paying junior doctors more cause inflation? Can we afford it, though? Spending £1 on a nation’s health results in up to £4 of additional economic growth – it’s called the multiplier effect. Health care spending more than pays for itself. A healthy population is a productive population.

The National:


Spending on defence, however, results in a negative multiplier of nearly 10, a net loss from the money spent. All those nuclear warheads don’t enter the economy - at least we hope they won’t – but are buried away in the hopes they will never be used. A great use of resources, eh?

Sadly, New Labour subscribes to the same Tory neoliberal ideology. The question we all must ask is why they do so and who benefits? It’s certainly not the people.

Leah Gunn Barrett