ON SUNDAY, The Dean of York Minster, the Very Reverend Vivienne Faull, preached about the need to talk again about the common good, to recognise values other than those of commerce, and to retrieve a sense of vocation.

On Tuesday, there was a debate among some of the most influential economic spokespeople in the world, including the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, and the head of IMF, Christine Lagarde, about the urgent need to find the means of establishing an ‘inclusive capitalism’.

The debate emerged from recognition of the dangers of wealth being concentrated in ever fewer hands, while the poor rapidly become poorer.

The gap is the greatest it has been since the time of the Domesday Book, according to respected analysts.

Defend our NHS York would like to contribute to the debate by pointing out the role of the NHS in regard to all these issues. The NHS protects not only our health but plays a crucial role in redistributing wealth.

By paying for health care through taxation, it transfers wealth to those who benefit from the service (i.e. potentially all of us).

At the same time, by relieving people of the need to pay individually for health care it leaves hard working families with more disposable income.

In turn this benefits the economy. The NHS is thus a means of bringing about ‘inclusive capitalism’.

The NHS is founded on notions of the ‘common good’ and it is generally recognised that most of those who work in it do so with the sense of dedication and vocation that the Dean would like to see.

We need to resist the threats to the NHS through creeping privatisation and the introduction of commercial values.

Anne Leonard, on behalf of Defend our NHS York, Fairway, York.