Socialist Worker

Greed breeds hospital superbugs

Issue No. 1881

A CAMPAIGN of 'naming and shaming' dirty hospitals has been launched by health secretary John Reid.

Reid says he wants to stamp out 'superbugs': 'The greatest reason is, of course, the illness and death that results from these infections, but the economic costs are also high and provide a compelling reason to reduce the number to reduce infections.'

But it is New Labour's privatisation policies that have created the filthy conditions in the NHS, by leading to a dramatic fall in the number of NHS cleaners. In 1986 there were over 88,000 NHS cleaners. Today the number is under 30,000, says health union Unison.

Unison officer Yvonne Cleary says, 'You can't escape from the fact that our hospitals got dirtier, allowing for the rise of superbugs and other infections, when cleaning staff numbers were slashed.'

Most support higher taxes

THE MAJORITY of the population support tax rises to pay for health and education, a social attitudes survey has found.

The number who support higher taxes has doubled in the last 20 years to 63 percent. The survey also found that 74 percent of young university graduates have been on a demo or some other non-electoral political action. And it found that that the income gap is wider than ever, with the poorest 10 percent receiving 3 percent of UK income and the richest 10 percent getting over a quarter.

British Social Attitudes: The 20th Report-go to

Millions in work suffer poverty

NEARLY A quarter of the population are living below the poverty line, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has discovered.

Despite falling unemployment, 22 percent are still in dire poverty. The figure includes 3.8 million children, 2.2 million pensioners and 6.6 million who have jobs, but are miserably low paid.

Poverty in Britain survey, published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Green's grass is ever greener

MICHAEL GREEN is £1.4 million richer than he was last week.

Green was ousted from his position as head of the Carlton TV company after it merged with Granada. Green was expected to head the joint company, but shareholders revolted and forced him out. Green did not have a formal contract with Carlton. But he has still managed to grab a payout of £1.4 million. Green also owns £44.3 million worth of shares in Carlton.

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Sat 13 Dec 2003, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1881
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