Bungled doctor pay in Britain
More money for less work
The number of GPs taking home more than £200,000 a year has risen – despite repeated promises by ministers to get to grips with doctors’ pay. Taxpayers funded these high salaries for no fewer than 950 family doctors in 2008/09 – up from 910 the year before.
Critics expressed disbelief that the number of high-earning GPs has risen at a time of supposed financial austerity, even though ministers have tried to clamp down on pay.
Overall, the average salary has fallen slightly to £105,300. But this is still more than 40 per cent higher than before the lucrative 2004 contract which saw the vast majority withdraw out-of-hours care. And more than 4,000 earned more than the Prime Minister’s salary of £152,500.
Doctors are semi-private operators who are given a lump sum every year by the Government to pay for their practices, including rent of buildings, equipment and wages for staff. What is left over goes into doctors’ pockets as profit. Over the past few years, the Treasury has frozen the amount of money given to GP practices.
While pay for the average doctor has fallen marginally, the rise in the numbers earning more than £200,000 indicates that some are taking a greater proportion in profit – and spending less on their practices – than during the previous year.
The figures, from the NHS Information Centre, show that one in eight GPs – a total of 4,230 – earned more than £150,000 in 2008/09. The average income before tax for a GP was £105,300 in 2008/09, down 0.7 per cent from the previous year. However, at the top of the income scale, the number of super-high earning GPs went up, with 950 pocketing more than £200,000. Almost 3 per cent of GPs now earn more than £200,000 and 250 GPs are on more than £250,000.
Charlotte Linacre, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said it was appalling that some doctors were continuing to do so well out of the GP contract, despite the recession. ‘It is infuriating that under current rules almost 1,000 GPs now have these inflated salaries which have to be covered by cash-strapped taxpayers,’ she said. ‘This is another reminder of what an expensive mistake the new GP contract was that saw us paying much more for exactly the same job.
‘Taxpayers want to be reassured that they are getting value for money and that services are being provided to a high standard without wasting funds – but doctors have outsmarted the politicians and now we have to fund this spiralling wage bill. ‘While people appreciate that GPs need to be paid well, it’s unfortunate that they can take painfully high pay packets because of government officials who lost control by gambling with our money.’
The statistics also show that family doctors who work in solo practices earn far more than those who work with other GPs. Some take home as much as £500,000 a year. One family doctor who owns two practices in the West London borough of Hillingdon declared annual earnings from the NHS of £507,241.
UK student who threw fire extinguisher from building jailed for 2 years, 8 months
THE British student who threw a fire extinguisher from the top of a London building amid violent student protests against rising college tuition fees was jailed yesterday for two years and eight months.
Edward Woollard, 18, threw an empty fire extinguisher from the roof of the London headquarters of the ruling Conservative Party after protesters stormed the building Nov. 10.
He pleaded guilty to causing violent disorder two weeks later after being caught on camera throwing the extinguisher, which nearly hit police officers below.
Tania Garwood, the mother of Woollard, told The (London) Times on Monday of the moment her son admitted to her that he was caught on camera throwing the fire extinguisher.
Garwood, 37, said her son did a “terrible and awful thing” that he is now paying for.
“What he has done is a terrible and awful thing, which he is paying for now … I brought up my children to take responsibility for their actions, and he has,” she said. “I believe he deserves to be punished — I just hope it is the right punishment. He is a loving, caring [He didn’t care about all the people below him], gentle man. He has got a lot to live for. He has got a lot to learn. I hope he has the chance to continue his education, and it hasn’t ruined his life.”
Intrusive political correctness in Britain
Are you straight or gay? Police and nurses to be asked their sexuality in new equality drive. I wonder how “None of your F** business” would go as a reply?
Millions of teachers, nurses and policemen could be asked to disclose their sexuality, religion and race as part of a new Coalition equality drive.
Lib Dem equalities minister Lynne Featherstone says all public sector organisations should consider sending ‘diversity monitoring forms’ to staff to prove they are treating all sections of society fairly.
From April, public bodies will be subject to the Equality Act – passed by Labour but taken up enthusiastically by the Coalition – which will force them to consider the impact of everything they do on the diversity of the people they serve or employ.
Miss Featherstone supports sending staff a questionnaire about their sexuality and even whether they have had a sex change.
Her plans are suggested in a guide to how public bodies should comply with the Act. Critics fear it will lead to an avalanche of bureaucracy and expense just as jobs are under threat and budgets are slashed.
One example given in the document is banning police from imposing height restrictions because they may be discriminatory to women.
It also says that complying with the equality duty ‘may involve treating some people better than others, as far as this is allowed by discrimination law’.