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The choice is stark:  Labour supports the NHS as a service delivered by public servants, not by private companies. The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats support privatising parts of the NHS. For example, just next door in Staffordshire, the Coalition government is currently hawking to the private sector a 10 year £1 billion contract for provision of cancer services. Companies like Virgin Healthcare are in the running.

So just how good is the NHS as a public service? Much is revealed by the tables below. Compiled by independent academics, these tables compare several health services in western countries. Guess what? The NHS wins by a mile.

Moreover, the NHS does so relatively efficiently. For example, as a proportion of GDP, in the USA they spend twice as much as we do, yet tens of millions still have no health cover. In France they spend 50% more.

Of course the NHS needs to improve further. For a start, it needs more funding. After all, the Tory-led government broke its promise to maintain NHS funding in real terms year on year.

Nevertheless, we should be realistic about just how good the NHS is, and we need to build on what we’ve got – not go privatising it. Only Labour will keep the NHS as a cohesive, free public service.

Rob Marris, Labour Candidate for Wolverhampton South West

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[Source:  The Commonwealth Fund, June 16, 2014; http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror]

 

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[Source:  compiled from New England Journal of Medicine article on the Equity of Healthcare Internationally= http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1406707]

Keep Our NHS Public

The choice is stark:  Labour supports the NHS as a service delivered by public servants, not by private companies. The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats support privatising parts of the...

The UK people know that many people who come to our country make an important contribution to our national life, from the economy to culture to the NHS.  We should recognise and be proud of those contributions. We need an immigration system which reflects our shared values values of fairness and responsibility.

Labour that understands both of those things.  That means we should seek to tackle the concerns which many people have about the impact on wages when large numbers of low skilled and exploited workers come here, and about the pace of change in communities – including the pressure on scarce resources in public services, and about the security of our borders.

Labour understands these are real concerns, and is ready to act on them. That is why Ed Miliband has changed Labour’s approach on immigration.  On 23 October 2014 he set out some concrete changes on immigration which will be in Labour's first Queen's Speech in May 2015:

  • Action to ensure that, when people cross our borders, they are countedin and they are counted out. In that way we will know who is here, who has returned home, and who has overstayed so we can deal with illegal immigration.
  • Making it a criminal offence for employers to exploit workers – whatever their origin – by illegally undercutting wages or conditions here.
  • Preventing recruitment agencies hiring only from abroad.
  • Stopping employment agencies and their sidekicks from exploiting loopholes which have the effect of undercutting directly-employed staff.
  • Requiring any large employer who hires a skilled worker from outside the EU to train apprentices in UK.
  • Ensuring that public sector workers in public-facing roles have a workable standard of English.

As I have long maintained, we cannot have a serious public debate about immigration unless we are also prepared to talk about the free movement of workers in the European Union. I repeatedly raised this in Parliament over 5 years ago, when all the parties were ignoring this issue. For example:

 

Rob Marris MP (Wolverhampton, South-West) (Lab):  Are the Government prepared to reconsider the free movement of labour in the European Union?

Jacqui Smith MP (Home Secretary)(Lab):  Free movement, and its relationship to trade and the free market, is an important element of our membership of the EU. We have taken action on new member states to ensure that, through the workers registration scheme—which the Opposition opposed—we are clear about being able to count and tackle benefit entitlement.  However, we should maintain that significant ability to travel freely and work in the EU.

[HANSARD, 2 June 2009, column 169]

 

Rob Marris: I am talking about one of the fundamental aspects of the architecture of the EU – the free movement of labour.  I think there is a case for looking at that again.  Does the hon. Gentleman agree?

Chris Grayling MP (Shadow Home Secretary)(Con):  No, I do not think we are going to look again at the free movement of labour within the EU.

[Hansard, 2 June 2009, column 178]

 

Rob MarrisGiven that such a high proportion of foreign workers come from other member states of the European Union, does the hon. Gentleman agree that it is time that we revisited the question of the free movement of labour within the EU?
13 Jan 2010:  Column 742

Mr. Hayes MP (Shadow education minister)(Con)That is a different subject for a different day

[Hansard, 13 January 2010, column 741]

 

Now, all the parties are talking about it.  Progress – at last!  Even the shadow chancellor Mr Ed Balls has this month said that a Labour government should not rule out demanding changes to the European treaties necessary to bring about reforms in EU rules on the free movement of labour.

Rob Marris, Labour Candidate for Wolverhampton South West

Rob Marris on Immigration

The UK people know that many people who come to our country make an important contribution to our national life, from the economy to culture to the NHS.  We should...

The European Commission has told the UK that it must pay an extra £1.7 billion towards the European Union's budget.

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Proposed Increase in UK Contribution to the EU budget

The European Commission has told the UK that it must pay an extra £1.7 billion towards the European Union's budget.   Read more

The UK’s huge budget deficit is still growing. So much for the Tory government’s claims on public finances

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A Failed Chancellor

The UK’s huge budget deficit is still growing. So much for the Tory government’s claims on public finances Read more

UKIP has done a deal in Brussels with Robert Iwaszkiewicz MEP. He is a member of Poland’s Congress of the New Right (JKM), which is a far-right party whose leader has a history of Holocaust denial, and of racist and misogynistic comments.

UKIP does a venal deal with the far right

UKIP has done a deal in Brussels with Robert Iwaszkiewicz MEP. He is a member of Poland’s Congress of the New Right (JKM), which is a far-right party whose leader... Read more

Rob Marris wishes every one in Wolverhampton South West a Happy Diwali

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Happy Diwali

Rob Marris wishes every one in Wolverhampton South West a Happy Diwali Read more

Rob was out campaigning again recently, this time against the proposed TTIP. He joined about a dozen protesters handing out leaflets in Dudley Street, Wolverhampton, as part of a national day of action.

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Click here to join the campaign and support Rob Marris

Rob Marris opposes draft EU-USA trade agreement (TTIP)

Rob was out campaigning again recently, this time against the proposed TTIP. He joined about a dozen protesters handing out leaflets in Dudley Street, Wolverhampton, as part of a national... Read more

          By Ed Balls MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.

There was only one concrete promise coming out of the Conservative Party Conference this week and it tells you everything you need to know about the Tories. 

Tory Strivers’ Tax will hit 3 million working people

          By Ed Balls MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. There was only one concrete promise coming out of the Conservative Party Conference this week and... Read more

Families, officials, and organisations working with them, came together on Friday 19th September when the Wolverhampton Carer Forum and the Wolverhampton Mental Health Carer Forum held their joint AGM at Beckminster Methodist Church Hall.

They were joined by five Community Champions nominated for their commitment to care-givers and their families.

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Wolverhampton Carer Forum and Wolverhampton Mental Health Carer Forum Joint AGM's

Families, officials, and organisations working with them, came together on Friday 19th September when the Wolverhampton Carer Forum and the Wolverhampton Mental Health Carer Forum held their joint AGM at... Read more

Statement by Rob Marris, Labour’s prospective Parliamentary candidate for Wolverhampton South West, condemning the government of Israel’s actions in Gaza

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Rob Marris Statement on Gaza

Statement by Rob Marris, Labour’s prospective Parliamentary candidate for Wolverhampton South West, condemning the government of Israel’s actions in Gaza Read more

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