Liz Truss called for patients to be charged for GP visits, 2009 paper reveals | Liz Truss | The Guardian

2022-08-20 13:42:58 By : Ms. Sunny Wei

PM hopeful co-authored pamphlet that also called for doctors’ pay to be slashed by 10% and abolition of universal child benefit

Conservative leadership frontrunner Liz Truss has been accused of showing “her true colours” in an 2009 paper promoting government spending cuts including slashing doctors’ pay.

Truss called for patients to be charged to see their GP and for doctors’ pay to be slashed by 10% in a controversial report she co-authored when she was deputy director of the Reform thinktank, TalkTV discovered.

It came days after the Guardian revealed a leaked recording of Truss saying that British workers needed “more graft” and suggesting they lacked the “skill and application” of foreign rivals.

Polls have consistently put Truss as clear favourite to win the race for No 10, with polling expert Sir John Curtice saying he would be “extraordinarily surprised” if she does not take office.

Labour said Truss’s report from 13 years ago, entitled “Back to Black”, revealed that “the reality of her agenda is devastating cuts”.

In the document, the seven authors, including Truss, recommended cutting £28bn in a year by introducing “user charges for GPs” and reducing the pay of registrars, consultants, GPs and managers by 10%.

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The report also called for the abolition of universal child benefit, the removal of the winter fuel payment, and the axing of several major military procurement projects including the Royal Navy’s planned aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, which were described as “inappropriate defence projects”.

Truss’s campaign attempted to distance the Tory leadership candidate from the paper, telling TalkTV’s The News Desk: “Co-authoring a document does not mean that someone supports every proposal put forward.

“Liz is focused on her bold economic plan to boost growth, cut taxes and put money back into hardworking people’s pockets”.

Labour deputy leader, Angela Rayner, said: “Liz Truss’s track record shows her true colours. She is out of touch and out of step with the public.

“The reality of her agenda is devastating cuts that risk national security, punishing patients already facing record waiting times and cutting the pay of frontline workers. Her desperate attempts to distance herself from her own views now will fool no one”.

Truss and rival Rishi Sunak will take part in a hustings in Manchester on Friday evening, as the pair continue to criss-cross the country to try and shore up the support of Tory members.