Free Prescriptions for all …

! This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.

… Scots.

The Scottish government is abolishing prescription charges in Scotland for all Scots.  At the moment, 96% of all prescriptions are dispensed free of charge.

Abolishing prescription charges north of the border is going to cost the English taxpayer another £70m.

In April this year, the Welsh government abolished all prescription charges in Wales on the same day that prescription charges in England rose to £6.80 per item.  Paid for by the English taxpayer of course.

The Daily Mail is calling this “The Great Divide” and says that it’s the final straw for English taxpayers.  For me, the final straw whizzed by years ago and I’m now in a constant low-level rage aimed at this racist Scottish Raj.

My nan has Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD).  It’s the most common cause of blindness in over-60’s in England but can be cured.  Can she get it treated?  No.  She lives in England and therefore must go blind so that enough money can be stolen from the English NHS to pay for ARMD treatment in Scotland.  She worked and paid taxes all her life, right up until she was in her 50’s when she had to stop because of ill health.  She worked in a munitions factory during the Second World War while my Grandad was on the front line in Korea.  What reward does she get for her contribution to the country?  Second-rate, third-class treatment at the hands of the NHS – she even got a hospital superbug when she had a knee replacement!

My youngest son has Dyspraxia.  He was lucky enough to get it diagnosed at such an early age – 5 years old – because he can get help before he gets too far behind and loses interest at school.  He already complains that it’s hard at school and he has a concentration span you measure in seconds.  A doctor has referred him for speech therapy and occupational therapy.  There is one child occupation therapist for the whole county of Shropshire.  The NHS provides one child occupational therapist for around 444,000 people.  Unsurprising, then, that the waiting list is at least 12 months long.  In Scotland, they’ve been pumping money into occupational speech therapy for children since 2003 to improve the service.

Meanwhile, a new report by the Audit Commission into the English NHS says that one third of NHS Trusts were still in the red.

The American Civil War started on the premise of “No Taxation without Representation”.  The American colonies were taxed by the British government but weren’t allowed to vote.  The American colonies were subsidising Britain and got foreign rule in return.  Sound familiar?  Come the revolution, we’re going to need a big wall.

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34 comments

  1. Kevin Fulcher (20 comments) says:

    Actually, it will only get worse; New Labour can only stay in power in Britain by buying Scottish votes with English money; SNP can only maintain and extend their grip on the Executive by the same means; hence the divide will carry on growing until the people of this country decide that enough is enough, and rise up to demand an end to this gross abuse of their democratic rights, and a free parliament for England.
    Well over a century ago, not everyone who opposed Gladstone’s Home Rule Bill were died-in-the-wool Orangemen. A number of thoughtful Conservatives anticipated precisely the sort of problems we are now seeing and concluded that the only solutions that would work in the long term were either full integration or full independence; any other compromise would be inherently unfair and therefore inherently politically unstable.
    On a mere point of pedantry, it was the American war of Independence that started over ‘No taxation without representation'; the causes of the Civil War were somewhat otherwise. Cheers, Kevin F.

  2. Aaron (72 comments) says:

    Can anyone define “chronic” in this case for me please? As someone with a lifelong illness, I carry a free-prescription card, exempting me from all charges, so I’m just interested as to what the threshold here is exactly? (And no, I am neither a Scot nor living in Scotland.)

  3. wonkotsane (1117 comments) says:

    Kevin, you’re right. I was blogging and making sandwiches at the same time – multi-tasking and failing I guess!

    Aaron, I’m not sure what they class as chronic. I have had asthma for years and have to pay for the inhalers which might one day save my life. My mum a few years ago was having chemotherapy and after spending 3 months in isolation she was finally sent home and had to pay for the cancer treatments she was taking at home!

  4. Zana (1 comments) says:

    Have you considered moving to Scotland? Easy to arrange I’m sure and you’d get the health care you require.

  5. wonkotsane (1117 comments) says:

    It’d be very easy to arrange but there are a couple of problems. Firstly, I don’t want to move to Scotland. Why would I want to live in a country where it wouldn’t be safe for me or my kids to go out because we’re English? Secondly, you have to live there for 3 years before you qualify for the benefits that you, as an English taxpayer, are paying for.

    A much better solution is to kick out the racist raj and govern ourselves.

  6. axel (1214 comments) says:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=487058&in_page_id=1770

    According to this link, if you are in the West Midlands, which you might be, you get a £931 subsidy per year, per person from the government, we in scotland only get a £38 present!

    Anyway, I digress, our parly has decided to spend its money in a certain way, it is now up to yours to spend its money in a different way.

    I actually think, the main purpose of the devolved governments is to \’experiment\’ on us, we all now have different electoral systems and lots of wee oddities that are different from the old way.

    I think England will be able to capitalise on this by seeing what works best and using it, remember the stink with the poll tax? Now, if something similair appears, it will be we who shoot ourselves in the foot.

    So far, things have been quite good, all our pensioners get nationwide free travel, our perescriptions will soon be free. Nothing too major but all nice and successful.

    When the free travel thinfg reaches england, it will be better because, it has already been done, most of the pitfalls will be known, so it should be easier.

    When the electoral reform happens, they will know what things not to do, look at the farce of our last election! Which system is best? Scottish, Welsh, Irish? It is all a good learning process for the powers that be.

    Remember, therea are only 9 million of us and 51 million of you, if a mistake is made with one of our wee sets, it is not such a big deal but a misrtake made with 51 million, will take a long timne to clear up!

    Also we got this by campaigning for it, why cant you campaign for it too?

  7. wonkotsane (1117 comments) says:

    Don’t know where the Daily Mail got their figures from because the net subsidy based on HM Treasury identifiable spending is £11.3bn per annum which is over 2 grand per person in Scotland.

    The poll tax comes up quite often when Scots try to justify or talk down the racial discrimination that’s come out of devolution. It’s worth remembering that Scots MPs asked for the poll tax because they were told that it would be fairer that the rates. We were all lied to on that one and there was only one government in Britistan at the time, not four.

    And we do campaign for an English Parliament – I’m on the national council of the Campaign for an English Parliament – but the British establishment is opposed to equal rights for England. Liebour is opposed to it because England doesn’t vote Liebour, the Illiberal Dumbasscrats are opposed to it because it’s not EU policy and the Conswervatives are opposed to it because they think that it’ll bring an end to their beloved union.

  8. axel (1214 comments) says:

    The poll tax was just bad luck, we got it first because there was an appropriate gap in out legislative bit in parliments time, if it had all gone according to plane, we would have had at the same time. On the plus side, it was good we got it early, it showed you some of the problems and I beleive when it started over the border, it was not quite so traumatic or disasterous.

  9. axel (1214 comments) says:

    English parliment

    I think you are going about it the wrong way, you do not neccesarily want an ‘english parliment’, I think our adventures and the welsh and the Irish show at least some of the pitfalls.

    I think a better option for you would be the ‘englification’ of Westminster, something like having only english mps vote on english matters and all britsh mps vote on ‘all british’ issues.

    The only fly in this particular ointment is the welsh, since they dont have their own legislative system……..

  10. axel (1214 comments) says:

    ‘And we do campaign for an English Parliament’, no, i meant campaign for free prescriptions.

    Small acheivable steps,

  11. wonkotsane (1117 comments) says:

    English Votes on English Matters is no good. The same British MPs have been putting Britain (or, more often, the Celtic fringe) before England for the last 10 years, they won’t suddenly put England first because of English Votes on English Matters or an English Grand Committee. England needs an Executive and Parliament of its own like Scotland has where its members are elected to represent England only like MSPs are elected to represent only Scotlands interests. It isn’t hard to decide what is “English only” because it’s basically whatever is devolved to Scotland, Wales and NI now.

    Free presecriptions is something we’re told we can’t afford in England – there are other priorities for our money such as the Barnett Fraud Bribe Formula which Liebour uses to buy Scottish votes. An English Parliament and Executive will allow us to spend our money how we want to.

  12. axel (1214 comments) says:

    Are you saying, if it were only MPs from south of the Tweed and East of the Severn, were voting on things that concerned their constituents they would still have such a lacksidasical attitude?

    The best (cheapest, most cost effective, least likely to be badly run) option would be to get rid of us from westminster.

  13. axel (1214 comments) says:

    here is a useful tip for you.

    I think our parlimentary seats are smaller than yours, i beleive but dont quote me on this, our average seat has 55,000 people in it and yours have 70,000, you would need to check it out.

    There was apparently a good reason for it at them time but now that we have our own parly, it seems a bit redundant

    But, if you could attack that it would loosen the power of the tartan sandinistas have on you

  14. wonkotsane (1117 comments) says:

    The constituency sizes in Scotland are smaller and might even get smaller again. This was initially to give them a bigger voice in the British parliament because of their relatively small population. The excuse now is that it’s because Scotland is so big with a spread-out population. The reality is that the smaller the constituencies, the more MPs Liebour gets to keep England under its control.

  15. axel (1214 comments) says:

    so, in theory, if you want to lessen our power at westminster, our parlimentary seats should be the same size as yours?

  16. axel (1214 comments) says:

    http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/4/A/pbr06_chapter1.pdf

    Here is another interesting report for you, check out page 11, the government spends £555 billion per year in 2006/2007 and in the same year Holy rood spends £30 billion, which probably all came from westminster.

    If we assume there are 6 million of us scots, and 60 million of us brits, surely we should be getting £60 billion per year?

  17. wonkotsane (1117 comments) says:

    The English might want shut of the Scots but the British don’t.

    If we assume there are 6 million of us scots, and 60 million of us brits, surely we should be getting £60 billion per year?

    Absolutely not. The £555bn includes spending on reserved matters, not just devolved. If you want £60bn and pay a pro-rated share of British spending then go right ahead, you won’t get much change.

  18. axel (1214 comments) says:

    If we pay the same tax as everyone else, we should get the same benefits as everyone else?

    What are \’reserved matters\’?

    Our cut of the budget comes out the £53 billion that is classed as \’Other Expendinture\’

  19. wonkotsane (1117 comments) says:

    Reserved matters are things that aren’t dealt with by the Scottish Parliament. The figures you want are “Identifiable Expenditure” broken down by nation.

  20. axel (1214 comments) says:

    cool, thanks for that, I will have a thorough rake around and see what bizare things I can find for you!

  21. axel (1214 comments) says:

    \\\’The English might want shut of the Scots but the British don’t\\\’

    Of the brits, 50 million of them are english……?

    I dont get that point?

  22. wonkotsane (1117 comments) says:

    British people are happy with Scotland taking the piss, English people aren’t. British people want Scotland to stay in the union, English people don’t. British people are happy to be ruled by the Scottish Raj, English people aren’t.

    English people and British people are as different as Scottish and British.

  23. axel (1214 comments) says:

    yes, i agree but my point is there are 50 million english out of 60 million british!

  24. pinkypinky1 (3 comments) says:

    I live in Shropshire and with a child with dyspraxia too!
    About prescriptions – I have just been told by my doctor that they do not routinely give ‘Calpol’ for children (even though they can) because we can buy it over the counter! So now in England we have to pay twice!!!Children are entitled to free prescriptions!! Thats waht we ‘pay’ for through NI contribuitons. It appears that doctors are allowed to means test the system and encourage those who they think can, pay twice! I had a bit of a go and demanded the prescription!! Its disgusting – when my husband was made redundant earlier this year we received £55.00 per week for 5 of us – even though he has worked all his life (and is now working) and paid into the NHS system to be now told to pay again!!! I got my prescription in the end even though the surgery sees me as a pain in the butt but heh if somepeople don’t stand up to this dictatorship that we call the Government, free prescriptions for children may be taken away for good! Don’t take no for an answer and stand up for the rights that we are actually entitled to!!!!

  25. axel (1214 comments) says:

    I sympathise but how the Helath service now works is complete roadkill.

    It used to be an easy job for them, all they had to do was keep us healthy but now with targets, criteria and promotional activity being a doctor is more about running the business of the doctors surgery than curing people.

  26. axel (1214 comments) says:

    oh yes, it will come out of ‘his’ budget if he gives you a script for it but out of yours if he does’nt.

    The fact he is trying to save £3(?) from his budget shows trhe pressure he is under!

  27. pinkypinky1 (3 comments) says:

    True re: budgets but free presciptions means free prescriptions doesn’t it? If they keep going over budget then they may get more? Or am I being naive?

  28. axel (1214 comments) says:

    I assume things work the same for you down there, as they do for up here and us.

    The doctor pays the cost of the medicine out of his budget regardless of who pays at the chemist.

    The chemist keeps the monery from the customer, direct from you iof you pay or via a refund from the central authority if you are on benefits or what ever.

    So, wires are getting slightly crossed here.

  29. axel (1214 comments) says:

    Got it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have just realised something, the money we pay at the chemists for prescriptions has nothing to do with the cost of the medicines, it is a payment for the chemist, that is why it is a standard charge.

    However, the scottish reasoning is more to do with supporting loss making chemists in poor areas, it means the government can be more flexible in supplying funding to un sustainable chemists to keep them open.

    But being politicians they are using it as a glory device to big themselves up!

  30. axel (1214 comments) says:

    Is dysparaxia like dyslexia but with numbers?

    A friend of mines kid has that but he did not get caught until he was 9, do you have a better diagnostic system there?

  31. pinkypinky1 (3 comments) says:

    No not really – my daughter has speech dyspraxia and word recognition problems – I noticed that something was wrong at 18 months when when she tried to speak she made noises like she was deaf. She has had constant speech therapy since 3 years old and went to a special nursery which specialised in speech and learning problems. She is now a main stream school but on School Action Plus – which means she get outside support – if you have probs speaking and recognising words it makes it difficult to read which then can lead to other problems. She is 6 now and has greatly improved although reading and remembering words are difficult but her speech is fine – some pronouncation problems with some words but overall a different child. My advice to anyone is that if you spot a problem act on it don’t wait for anyone and those who shout the loudest!!!!!I think I am a special person to have such a special daughter – sometimes her sisters don’t think so though!!

  32. wonkotsane (1117 comments) says:

    My son has dyspraxia with numbers – he can count ok, he’s not too hot at maths but it mainly manifests itself in an inability to concentrate, a very short attention span and poor co-ordination. We’re trying to get him some help – he mainly needs someone to keep poking him avery minute or so to keep him thinking about what he’s doing – but we’re finding that we’ve got to do all the running around and badgering people. We can be bothered to make an effort but a lot of kids who have things like dyspraxia come from families where the parents can’t be bothered or just don’t understand what they need to do because they’re not the sharpest tools in the box. It’s easy to see why a lot of children don’t get the help they need.

  33. axel (1214 comments) says:

    Its a shame, that only those who can be bothered to shout get treatment/help, my friend is the same, only by constant barracking and hectoring has he got anything done.

  34. wonkotsane (1117 comments) says:

    It always seems to be that way axel. If I want something I badger people until I get it.

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