Leader: Unhealthy price to pay
Published 1 Apr 2011 09:30 1 Comment
REVELATIONS that Reading patients now cost the NHS less than anywhere else in the country show the stark inequalities caused by the Government's swingeing cuts.
The Berkshire West Primary Care Trust's £658m budget may be £14m more than it was in the last tax year, but in real terms health chiefs will have to tighten their belts because of spiralling inflation and an aging population.
Their dilemma will be shared by prospective students required to dig deep after Reading University announced it wants to charge undergraduates the maximum £9,000 tuition fees from September next year, prompting cries from Student Union leaders it would "price out" those from poorer backgrounds.
Meanwhile Reading's controversial social care reforms, ending support for anyone not in the substantial or critical needs band, will bring a 600% hike in day centre charges for some pensioners.
Councillors reassure us more people will receive free services, but those above the threshold will have to tighten their own belts - if there are any notches left.
This article appeared in Bracknell News 31 Mar 11
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Apr 20, 21:51
It won't price out those from poorer backgrounds any more than it will people from richer backgrounds. If they don't get a good job after uni, they won't have to pay it back.
If they do get a well-paid job, well, they've hardly got grounds to moan about paying a few pounds a month in student loan fees. Someone earning £30,000 a year only pays back £15 a week / £60 a month, while a quarter of people will pay less overall than they do under the current system. That's hardly crippling to someone on that salary, and there's no up front fees. This Government is doing a lot of things wrong, but making high earners rather than the general taxpayer subsidise the cost of higher education is not one of them!
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