Not content with holding down wages for nurses, midwives and other NHS professions eligible for NHS bursaries, chancellor George Osborne wants to ensure they start their low paid careers firmly saddled with debt.

Currently students in qualifying NHS professions get a bursary and free tuition to help them complete their studies, but for students starting study in 2017 they will no longer receive any grant and will have to pay full tuition fees of £9000 a year.

If Osborne gets his way then the future newly qualified band 5 staff will be starting their careers with debts of around £50,000 - on a wage of just £21,000.

Some claim that the fees will allow universities to train 10,000 more nurses to help address the current shortage.  However this is already possible if the government funds the places.  In effect the government has dumped the costs of providing enough healthcare professionals firmly onto the shoulders of students themselves.  There is a real danger the loss of grants and the the high cost of tuition fees will put people off training.

You could be forgiven for thinking the government was out to destroy the NHS.