Don’t believe the NHS scare stories

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The SNP is giving great prominence to a scare story it has invented about the future of the National Health Service in Scotland if the No vote prevails.

The story is that a No vote will lead to increasing privatisation and cutbacks. This is completely misleading.

The facts are that since 1999 the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament have had complete administrative control, day-to-day management and supervision of NHS Scotland: any privatisation which has taken place in NHS Scotland since 1999 has been “the sovereign will of the Scottish people”, to use Alec Salmond’s words.

Whatever the referendum result, Yes or No, there will still be a Scottish Parliament after September 18, in fact with more powers than it has now, and it will still have complete administrative control of NHS Scotland, so more privatisation can only occur if the Scottish people want it, which I very much doubt.

As for cutbacks in NHS Scotland finances, the SNP Government has always had, but has never used, the power to raise Income Tax by up to three pence in the pound. If Mr Salmond and his colleagues had really wanted to protect or increase spending on the NHS, or want to protect the NHS in the future, they have the power to do so. I wonder why they won’t use their tax-raising powers?

Jock Houston