As of April 1st (how appropriate!) England is the only part of the United Kingdom where people are taxed more if they're ill or old. I'm referring to prescription charges, of course, and I call it a tax because the charge makes no attempt to reflect the actual cost of the medicine supplied.
"Why Only England?
Good question and one that should be asked of the UK government.
UK funding per person per year:
Wales: £9,209 (16% more)
Scotland: £9,412 (18% more)
Northern Ireland: £10,127 (27% more)
But it's not just about the money. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own parliament or assemblies that work in the interests of those countries.
England has no parliament. Alone of the home nations
Yes. It’s political
Some might say this is the politics of envy. We say it's the politics of justice.
The people of England deserve the same funding and services as the people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We don't pay any less tax but it's always us who end up paying the most for services.
Care for the elderly, student tuition fees, eye tests, dental check-ups, road and bridge tolls. In all these areas and more the people of England have to pay more than our neighbours because no-one speaks for us.
What can I do?
It has been said that we English are good at moaning - so get your moaning hat on and start moaning in the right direction. Your MP probably doesn't give a damn about you or your family having to pay for prescriptions.
So please write to your MP and tell them you are sick of being discriminated against just for living in England.
If you've really had enough of England's raw deal demand your own parliament back by joining the Campaign for an English Parliament.
No parliament - no voice. From this all other injustices flow."
This text was lifted from the front page of an excellent website (try clicking the button marked “It's not just prescriptions”) posted by the Campaign for an English Parliament. You may not wish to sign up to their political agenda (though it's hard to dispute, frankly) but it would be remiss of us to ignore their arguments, which are compelling ...
Personally, one of my first thoughts about an English parliament was that the last thing we need is yet another layer of bloody politicians doing nothing, endlessly prating, lining their pockets and costing us a bomb. Bastards.
But at least they'd be OUR bastards, not some Scottish mafia ...
The GOS says: All that said, my personal opinion is that the existing prescription system is the right one: it makes complete sense to me that we should make a contribution to the enormous cost of medicines, and that old and vulnerable people should be excused from making that contribution. The current level of charge seems about right, too, when you know how pricy many drugs really are. But obviously there is no reason on God's good earth why the English should make that contribution when no one else does. Yet again, Scottish, Welsh and Ulster politicians can proudly boast that they can stand on their own two feet and they don't need us any more, while wallowing like pigs in our subsidies.
Right, rant over. I'd just like to draw your attention to another campaign that has started up recently, The People's Charter - motto “A people's Britain, not a bankers' Britain”. It sounds good but when you read it in detail it becomes apparent that this is a union campaign dressed up to look like a democratic movement.
I first encountered it when I accidentally came upon their website calling for a referendum on our continued membership of the EU. This sounded good to me, so I emailed them several times, offering to carry a banner or logo for them on GOS. They never replied, from which I draw the conclusion that they do not intend this as a serious political campaign at all, merely a publicity stunt to attract attention. It certainly got mine! Strangely the call for such a referendum seems to have disappeared from their list of objectives, and so has the website about it – I can't find it anywhere.
The campaign's proposals now include nationalising the banking, insurance and mortgage industries, taking political control of the Bank of England, protecting all existing jobs so nobody can ever get the sack or be made redundant however useless they are, and stopping the repossession of homes so that presumably people could just welch on their mortgages with impunity. That'll really help the recovery of the mortgage companies, I don't think. It's no wonder the campaign is supported by the Communist Party.
So – ignore this spurious and mischievous campaign. It amazes me that union bosses and left-wing politicians can still seriously believe this stuff. They must be living in a world that disappeared fifty years ago.
either on this site or on the World Wide Web.
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