British people face a ‘real choice’ on health

Liverpool metro mayoral candidate Steve Rotheram accuses government of ‘underfunding, understaffing and over-stretching’ health service

Steve Rotheram speaking to UNISON health conference

The Labour candidate for metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region spoke to UNISON health delegates today about the differences facing the NHS under future Labour and Conservative governments.

Steve Rotherham said that the current government had been responsible for the “underfunding, understaffing and over-stretching of the NHS, with health secretary after health secretary playing with the future of one of our most treasured institutions.”

But with the snap election next month, the British people “have a real choice,” he said.

“Do they want a Labour government that will stop privatisation, or a Tory government that is hell bent on further outsourcing?” he asked.

“A Labour government that will fund social care, or Tories cutting budgets to the bone?

“A Labour government that would introduce more doctors, nurses, midwives and support staff, or a Tory government that is attacking hard-working junior doctors?”

He said a Labour government, if elected, would also end 15-minute homecare visits by introducing 5,000 more staff, promote parity between mental health and physical health and integrate health and social care.

Mr Rotheram is the MP for Liverpool Walton and parliamentary private secretary to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s. He is favourite to win the metro mayor election in the city on 4 May.

If he does, one of his priorities will be “to lead by example” as a real living wage employer, and to introduce an ethical employment charter for Liverpool.

This would would seek commitments from companies on a number of issues, including not using zero-hours contracts, recognising trade unions and promoting gender equality.