Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
Please stop blaming Covid for all Britain's problems
9 February 2024, 13:26 | Updated: 12 February 2024, 08:40
Backlogs in the NHS...blame Covid.
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Record levels of inflation...blame Covid. Cost of living crisis..blame covid
Fewer shoppers hitting the high street...yep, you've guessed it, Covid is to blame.
No-one should under estimate the lingering cost - both social and economic - of the pandemic but for the government it has become this gigantic 'get out of jail free card' that they hope will excuse any and every failing.
Today we heard Rishi Sunak say that the virus was responsible for the backlogs we are seeing with the NHS.
Can anyone honestly say that Covid is behind the wave of strikes that have crippled our hospitals or the problems with GP and dentistry services.
A few weeks ago i tried to get an appointment with a GP and was offered a time slot jn three weeks time. Many appointments are now carried out over the phone.
Days ago we witnessed police actually being called to break up a queue of prospective patients outside a Bristol dentists surgery after it began taking NHS patients.
Is Covid to blame for that?
And then we have the economy.
Last June Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey said the pandemic was the key problem behind inflation, as workers who left the jobs market during Covid do not appear to have returned.
Yes, Covid ripped a £400bn hole in the government’s finances as ministers supported industries and workers and helped them bounce back after the restrictions were lifted.
But there are other factors at play and to put all of the nations woes down to the pandemic is misleading, simple and wrong.
There is the war in Ukraine and - although many would not like to admit it - Brexit is behind at least some of the country's economic ills.
This is not in any way downplaying the impact of the pandemic.
Four years have now passed since the first case of Covid was confirmed in the UK. it killed more than 200,000 people and changed how we all live our lives.
But it is not responsible for all our nation's woes and it is disingenuous to say that it is.
So, my message to ministers is please stop trying to turn Covid into a catch-all excuse for any failings. That diminishes the real suffering that Covid caused.
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