Friday, 26 February 2010

Is A General Election In The Offing?

No, this is not another post 'talking-up' the possibility of an earlier general election date than the most obvious one of 6th May, but is prompted by what looks suspiciously like what Labour hopes will be a 'vote winner'.

This snippet of information has appeared on the website of the Department of Health. One shudders to think what the bureaucratic cost of 'managing' this will be and no doubt yet another quango will be formed to handle it. At first sight it would also seem to be a bit of a 'pigs-ear' of a policy, in that whilst asylum seekers who co-operate with the UKBA will receive free NHS treatment, those that do not, won't. So how will the NHS recover the charges, as presumably asylum seekers are not awash with cash?

Access to the consultation documents can be had here however it does seem odd that the foreward, written by Ann Keen who is Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (for a few weeks more, anyway) states: "However, we cannot afford to become an ‘international health service’, providing free treatment for all. This would also risk encouraging people to enter, or remain, in the country solely to access treatment." when we do seem to encourage people to enter and remain here, whilst accessing our benefits system - and the difference is?

This proposal would seem to raise some questions for those living abroad, even in another EU member state. Whilst the document invites comments from the public, as with other proposals, said comments will, no doubt, be ignored - but hey, they will have 'consulted' and can then tick another box!

As yet, no comment on Conservative Home on behalf of the 'New' New Labour Party, if and when they assume office.

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