August 17, 2022
Rishi Sunak pledges NHS no-show fines as Liz Truss vows school reform- BPN TODAY

Rishi Sunak pledges NHS no-show fines as Liz Truss vows school reform

Conservative leadership hopeful Rishi Sunak has said he would introduce a £10 fine for patients who repeatedly miss GP or hospital appointments.

Mr Sunak told the Sunday Telegraph he wanted to be “transformational” and “do something brave and… different”.

His rival Liz Truss meanwhile unveiled plans to ensure students who get top grades would automatically be invited to apply to Oxford or Cambridge.

“I can be trusted to deliver as the education prime minister,” she said.

The two final candidates for party leader – and PM – are setting out their policies and visions as Conservative members prepare to receive their ballots from Monday.

Ms Truss has released a six-point plan targeting reform in the education sector, saying she wants to give “every child the tools they need to succeed”.

Among the foreign secretary’s proposals is widening access to Oxford, Cambridge and other top universities, and putting less emphasis on predicted grades.

Details on how the highest achieving students would be automatically invited for an interview are scant, and it is unclear how the policy would work in practice.

She added that she wants to expand existing academy schools that are high performing, and replace failing establishments with free schools. She also indicated she would end a ban on new grammar schools in England.

No-show fines

Mr Sunak, meanwhile, has set out his plans to target NHS no-shows, telling the Sunday Telegraph that patients will be given the “benefit of the doubt” the first time they miss an appointment, but further absences would incur a £10 charge.

He said the system would be “temporary” as Covid backlogs are cleared.

BBC News reported in February that six million people are on NHS waiting lists in England – one in nine of the population.

Ministers have warned that the waiting list for hospital treatment will not begin to fall for two years.

Mr Sunak said it was “not right” that people were missing consultations, scans and check-ups, “taking those slots away from people who need (them)”.

Separately, the former chancellor has said he wants to reduce the number of empty shops on Britain’s high streets and crack down on graffiti and littering.

“I want to slash the number of empty shops by 2025 and make sure that they are turned into thriving local assets, supporting skills, local businesses, economies and creating jobs,” Mr Sunak said.

“They will be joined by vital public services – like police stations and job centres.”

Mr Sunak and Ms Truss are vying for No 10 after reaching the final stage of the Conservative party leadership contest.

The party’s membership will decide who will replace Boris Johnson, with the winner being announced on 5 September.

During the contest, there have been noticeable clashes between the two candidates as they set out their rival visions for the UK’s future.

Earlier this month, they set out their plans for the economy and traded barbs over one another’s policies.

Ms Truss is ahead of Mr Sunak in the race to become the next Tory leader, according to polls of party members.

She received the backing of former Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis who told the Telegraph Ms Truss would restore power sharing at Stormont more quickly.

And despite her apparent popularity among Tory members, Ms Truss told the Sunday Times that she is unsure if her parents would vote for her in a general election.

“I think my mum will, I’m not sure about my dad,” she said, adding that they disagreed with her about public spending and tax.


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