POLITICS

Question Time: Audience Accuses Government Of 'Decimating' Public Services As £8bn NHS Investment Questioned

13/11/2015 02:01 GMT | Updated 13/11/2015 08:59 GMT

An audience member on BBC's Question Time has accused the Government of "decimating" public services as ministers came under fire for the austerity programme.

Tory Cabinet Minister Sajid Javid faced the wrath of state-employed workers on the flagship BBC politics show as he defended attempts to fix the economy and, in turn, allow the Government to invest in the NHS and other services.

The Conservative election manifesto promised £8 billion extra in the NHS a year but the party's policies got short shrift from audience members working in the state sector.

One woman said: "I am a health worker in a children's hospice. And every day I work with health, social care, education, my son is a police sergeant, and my daughter-in-law is a teacher.

"This Government is decimating our public services. Do you know in Staffordshire there is a two-year wait for a paediatric OT (occupational therapy) assessment. Children waiting two years under your Government. It's shameful."

Another questioned the ongoing row between Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and junior doctors over a controversial new pay deal. She said: "You confidently said the NHS is not going to have a crisis this winter. So what do you think about Jeremy Hunt completely losing touch with 45,000 junior doctors?"

"Most people I work with can't wait to leave (the NHS)," said another.

As panel members discussed the "crisis" facing the NHS, the feisty audience also booed Ukip MEP and deputy leader Paul Nuttall, Nigel Farage's right-hand man, for arguing that immigration was to blame.

He said: "The bigger problem with the NHS is allowing 300,000 people coming into the country each year. You can't plan for an NHS when there are too many people in the country."

To jeers from the crowd, writer and activist Paris Lees responded: "Shame on you. We would not have an NHS without doctors coming from other countries."

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