Insights from the UK and beyond
from Global News Journal:
Every time I write a story on European countries cutting public spending, I feel a frisson of panic. I can't help but fear my health, lifestyle and liberty could be a casualty of the "age of austerity".
On assignment covering the Sri Lankan civil war for Reuters four years ago, I broke my neck in a minibus smash. It left me quadriplegic, almost entirely paralysed from the shoulders down and totally dependent on 24 hour care. I was 25.
Nine months later, in a wheelchair, using voice recognition software and supported by government-funded personal assistants, I got back to work in Reuters London headquarters the day after leaving hospital. Now political risk correspondent for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, I write about the interplay of politics and markets. For the past year and a half, much of that has been the drive to cut government spending as Europe rebalances its books.
That hasn't done my personal mental health any good at all. I even had my doctor tweak my medication to make sure worry didn't produce a gastric ulcer.
Plans to overhaul care services for the elderly will involve creating a national care service,Β giving all citizens a basic entitlement and contribution to their care.
Plans outlined in a new Green Paper called “Shaping the Future of Care Together” would require people to buy insurance to supplement state funding.