Tice continues assault on Tory votes with zero NHS waiting list pledge

NHS being crippled by patients who ‘cannot get out’

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Richard Tice today stepped up a gear in Reform UK’s mission to “kill off the Conservative Party” by unveiling a solution to the national health crisis that he accuses the Tories of creating. The announcement was the first in a series of policies as the party gears up to fight every seat at the next election with polls showing they are taking away Tory votes.

Last week’s Techne UK tracker poll for Express.co.uk put Reform at 5 percent of those who are ready to vote, but a look at the data shows the party founded by Nigel Farage is already beginning to eat away at the Tory voter base.

According to the data for the poll, the party which was previously the Brexit Party, is now picking up 8 percent of Leave voters from 2016.

Meanwhile, one in 10 people who voted Conservative in the 2019 election have already switched to Reform UK.

Other polls have the party’s support even higher up to 9 percent in the wake of anger over Jeremy Hunt’s tax rises in the Autumn Budget and a fear that Rishi Sunak’s government could be trying to water down Brexit.

Mr Tice has previously told Express.co.uk that he hopes to play a part in ensuring this “is the last ever Conservative government” but he believes that voters on the right of the centre are also looking for conservative solutions to public services.

One solution is a “bold plan” to overhaul healthcare by using the private health sector and even hospitals in foreign countries to end the massive waiting lists which have ballooned since the pandemic lockdown.

In a major policy announcement this morning, Mr Tice claimed there is “a national health crisis.”

He pointed to record high waiting lists of 7 million and rising, a staff shortage of 200,000, an ambulance crisis which can see hours long waits for patients after 999 calls and a threat of strikes of nurses over the winter.

The last six months has seen excess deaths of 500 per week over the five-year average.

Mr Tice said ideology excluding private health involvement with the NHS is a bar for tackling the problems and pointed to polling carried out for Reform UK which showed 81 percent “do not care who carries out the treatment, they just want it done.”

In a bid to sort out wage disputes, encourage recruitment and retain staff he proposes a zero basic rate of income tax for all frontline healthworkers and social care staff who live in the UK.

The higher rate of 40p for earnings over £50,270 would remain in place for the better paid.

He argued that the extra recruitment would make at least £1 billion in savings from money currently paid to agency staff but would have a net cost to the taxpayer of £9 to £10 billion.

Mr Tice also proposes spend another £9 billion buying in 3 million private healthcare operations to bing the waiting lists down to zero.

He believes this can be paid for by making annual savings of £20 to £40 billion by reorganising Britain’s quantative easing debt which is currently worth £850 billion.

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Mr Tice said: “The NHS may be the most loved healthcare system in th world but it is not the best run by any means.”

He admitted that his plans would bring competition into the system but argued “competition is good at bringing down cost and driving up quality.”

Cancer expert Karol Sikora was present at the policy launch and gave his approval for much of the plan.

He said: “The key here is about building up capacity and this seems to achieve that.

“It’s not just about doctors, in some ways they are not the important ones, it is about having more technicians, cleaning staff, nurses and clinicians.”

The plan would see people working over weekends to carry out operations and bring down the waiting lists.

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