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Miliband at MMU to Announce ‘Emergency Rescue Plan’ for NHS

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By Neil Harrison

With the General Election only 17 days away, Ed Miliband today appeared at Manchester Metropolitan University to outline Labour’s plans for the NHS. Flanked by students and NHS workers, the opposition leader spoke to a packed hall at the university about his party’s desire to implement a more integrated health system and to roll back what he described as “creeping privatisation.” He began by saying,

“You know the general election is getting closer and closer, there’s just over two weeks to go now and I think that’s just over two weeks to decide what the future of our country looks like. There is nowhere that the choice matters more than in our NHS service.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 14.21.32“The Conservatives say they are comitted to spending more on the NHS but they’re going to double the spending cuts next year. That’s bigger spending cuts in the next three years than we’ve seen in the last parliament. They want you to believe that they are going to spend more, with money they can’t identify from a place they cannot name. These are false promises with an expiry date of May 8th stamped on them. We have a fortnight to rescue the National Health Service, that’s why the country needs Labour’s emergency rescue plan.”

The leader then went on to outline immediate measures a Labour government would bring in should they emerge victorious at the election. These included deriving funds from a ‘mansion tax’ on houses worth over £2 Million and targeting tax avoiders in order to generate investment into public services. Miliband also pledged an increase in NHS staff, including 20,000 new nurses and 5000 more doctors. He said,

“It is not just a principled values issue, it’s a pragmatic issue about how th NHS succeeds. You need integrated services that enable care, compassion and co-operation, not competition, fragmentation and privatisation. That’s why we’ll repeal the Health and Social Care Act.”

Following his speech, Miliband took questions from the audience, which included members of the public, the press and MMU students and staff, many of them studying or with a background in the areas of health and social care. Responding to the great deal of personal testimonies regarding the NHS shared by the audience, Miliband concluded by saying,

“Thank you to Manchester Metropolitan University for having us here. This election is a really important election. I think the future of the NHS is on the ballot paper. I’m going to say something that politicians don’t usually say: politics is too important to be left to politicians. You’ve got to hold me to account for the promises I’ve made but you can really make the difference in the next election.”

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Neil Harrison is Editor-in-Chief at Humanity Hallows. He is in his third year studying History at MMU. Follow Neil on Twitter @looseriver

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aAh! Magazine is Manchester Metropolitan University's arts and culture magazine.

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