Liberal Democrat MP (and former Haringey councillor) Stephen Gilbert has been doing some good digging into the way Labour wasted money with over-generous and badly worded contracts between the health service and private health providers.
The shocking figures for London are that although private firms were paid £63.4 million they only provided £41.5 million worth of services. In other words, for every £3 they were paid by Labour, the private health firms only delivered £2 of services. Across the UK, £1.7 billion was paid out but only £1.4 billion of services supplied.
As Stephen said to the Evening Standard,
For almost £22 million of London taxpayers’ money to be wasted in this way is nothing short of scandalous.
Labour spent years institutionalising the practice of allowing private providers to ‘cherry pick’ easy cases – all at the expense of the taxpayer.
That reference to cherry-picking is particularly important, as it is one of the areas where the most intense discussions are going on within government over how to modify Andrew Lansley’s Health White Paper.