Instantly countering yesterday’s campaign launch from Labour, David Cameron is hot on the Party’s heels with his own speech this morning announcing the Conservatives’ main objectives.
Speaking at the Conservatives’ Spring Forum, Cameron pledged to turn the NHS into a “truly seven day” service, with the health care system turning out to be both parties’ key attack strategy in swinging votes.
Stating “you are actually more likely to die if you turn up at the hospital at the weekend” Cameron today pledged “by 2020 I want hospitals properly staffed, especially for urgent and emergency care, so that everyone will have access to the NHS services they need seven days a week”.
Polls have shown a clear lead for Ed Miliband and the Labour party in relation to the NHS, and it is their key tactic in appealing to voters this election, with Miliband promising to rescue the Health Service from Cameron by ending privatisation of the system. In his speech today Cameron lashed back with an announcement to improve and increase the care available for the general public with a pledge of £2 billion to be spent.
However sceptics have voiced their concerns that the amount pledged will fall short of covering existing services, let alone delivering the additional care promised. Andy Burnham, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said: “Without a detailed, fully-costed plan to provide the staff and resources needed to deliver more seven-day services, this is at best an empty pledge and at worst shameless political game-playing with the NHS ahead of the election”.
Policies surrounding the NHS are likely to be a game changer in this election. The result could be a battle of political game-playing and empty promises.
Cameron’s other pledges in today’s speech:
- Raising the income tax allowance to £12,500
- Raising the 40p threshold to £50,000 incomes
- Creating 500 new free schools
- Building 200,000 started homes
- Creating three million apprenticeships
- A referendum on remaining in the European Union