CEP Press Release: Thursday, 24 Jan 2008
Nick Clegg, the new Lib Dem leader, has hardly been in office when he has already done a U-turn on his promise to make free personal care for all the elderly in England part of the Party’s policy programme. He came into the party leadership saying he supported Scottish-style free care for all elderly citizens regardless of income. Now he’s dropped it. Outlining plans for what he is calling ‘a people’s health service’ in preparation for the Lib Dem Spring Conference in March in Liverpool, he is now proposing that the elderly match government input pound for pound, unlike in Scotland where the Scottish Parliament pays the lot.
‘The injustice inflicted upon the people of England by devolution for Scotland and Wales,’ says Michael Knowles member of the National Council of the Campaign for an English Parliament, ‘has reached incredible proportions. Elderly people in Scotland get free personal health care, not one single elderly person in England. Everyone in Wales gets free prescriptions. People in England have to pay £6:85 per prescription item. Scotland and Wales have home rule. England not only does not have home rule but it is the people of England who are paying for all the benefits Scotland and Wales are getting out of having their own Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. Each English taxpayer pays an extra £281 each year in income tax to subsidise the extra benefits Scotland is getting within the Union.’