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GP minister compares NHS to 'Ponzi scheme'

A Government minister, who is also a practicing GP, compared the health service to a ‘Ponzi’ or pyramid scheme in a discussion about why young people might be losing faith in the system.

Phillip Lee MP was speaking at a Conservative Party Conference fringe meeting on Monday 2 October organised by think-tank the Social Market Foundation and pollsters Opinium about ways the Conservative Party could inspire the young and win over older voters.

The justice minister and Bracknell MP told conference delegates it was difficult to sell the prospect of higher taxes to pay because ‘this Ponzi scheme that we’ve had in play for pensions and for healthcare and for social care for the past 30 years is about to collapse, so therefore we want you to work really really hard, but when you get to 65, it’s not going to be there.’

Ponzi schemes were described by the US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission as working on the ‘rob Peter to pay Paul principle’. Cash from new investors is used to pay off older investors and when there is no new money, the scheme collapses.

A spokesman for the MP told Pulse: ‘Dr Lee does not believe that the NHS is in danger of imminent collapse, as a practicing GP he takes the NHS, social care and pensions incredibly seriously - caring for the sick and looking after the elderly are two of the most important roles of government.

’The quotes attributed to him, which he put forward as a hypothetical case, have been plucked from a nuanced and wide-ranging discussion at a fringe meeting on young and older voters.’

The spokesman added: ’He’s proud to be part of a government that is protecting and increasing pensions, and spending an additional £8 billion on the NHS in this parliament.’

Dr Lee has registered £10,505 in payments as a freelance GP for 133.5 hours work at practices in Slough and Great Missenden since April this year in the Register of MPs’ Interests.

Readers' comments (7)

  • AlanAlmond

    He’s quite right. It is.

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  • Congratulations to a politico brave enough to be honestin public.

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  • Vinci Ho

    ’The quotes attributed to him, which he put forward as a hypothetical case, have been plucked from a nuanced and wide-ranging discussion at a fringe meeting on young and older voters.’
    Mmmmmm
    Sound very defensive from the 'spokesman of the MP'.
    The only fact I know is the Tories lost young people's votes substantially in the general election 3 months ago and one would ask why. Then the logical deduction is that they would try every avenue to restore trust and faith typically in their party conference and fringe conferences. And a highly qualified GP-MP to speak was strategic.
    According to Wikipedia (yes , could be fake):
    ''Phillip Lee was born and raised in Buckinghamshire, England, and went to his local grammar school, Sir William Borlase's Grammar School. Lee studied Human Biology and Biological Anthropology at King's College London and Keble College, Oxford, where his research interests included the psychodynamics of anti-Semitism; the psychology of the child sex offender; the influence of the pre-natal environment on adult disease; and infertility clinic outcomes.

    He went on to study medicine at Imperial College London[2] and qualified as a doctor in 1999. He has worked in hospitals across the Thames Valley, including Wexham Park Hospital, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Wycombe General Hospital, St Mark's (Maidenhead) and Heatherwood Hospital as well as at St Mary's Hospital, London. Lee qualified as a general practitioner (GP) in 2004 and continues to practise locally part-time.[3]''

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  • Vinci Ho

    The political reality is the conservatives are in a precarious position with one Brexit arrow in each Achilles' tendon .
    The editorial from Faisal Islam in Sky Newsdid not seem to pay any sympathy:

    http://news.sky.com/story/tory-conference-melodrama-is-bad-timing-as-brexit-talks-loom-11066442

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  • Nhsfatcat

    Tory GP lets spokesman say he proud of this government. Well me!

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  • Nhsfatcat

    There should have been a word between well and me in above comment. :)

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  • Ponzi it is. You put in all your hard earned cash and get nothing when you need it in a few years time. All in the name of fairness. Should have joined the lads and drink myself silly when I was young rather than working hard.

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