In an article for the Daily Telegraph, David Cameron said that ‘complete change’ was needed in the public sector
Almost all public services could be opened up to private companies under plans being put forward by Cameron. Cameron claimed: “complete change” was needed in the public sector to improve standards for users.
The Tories’ plan calls for private companies, voluntary groups and charities to be allowed to bid to provide services as part of the “Big Society project”. It would allow the Government to transform public services without having to legislate repeatedly to allow different providers to get involved.
The changes, contained in a White Paper to be released any day now, could allow non-public providers to run schools, hospitals and council services such as maintaining parks, adult care, special schools and roads maintenance.
Cameron wrote: “We will create a new presumption – that public services should be open to a range of providers. Of course, there are some areas – like the national security services or the judiciary – where this wouldn’t make sense. But everywhere else should be open to real diversity.”
With providers competing with each other, there will be an imperative to drive down price. The savings will come at the cost of workers’ pay and conditions. The drive to reduce costs will inevitably affect the quality of the services, and will precipitate a race to the bottom among competing service providers.
Writing in the Telegraph, Cameron said: “Opening up public services to private sector providers was an important part of the “Big Society” agenda”. “I would argue that our plans to devolve power from Whitehall, and to modernise public services, are more significant aspects of our Big Society agenda than the work we’re doing to boost social action.”
Cameron’s version of “devolving power from Whitehall” is to give the power to the bankers and capitalists, those who caused the economic crisis. And where he writes “modernise” read privatise for the profits of a few. Speaking of the White Paper Cameron said: “It will put in place principles that will signal the decisive end of the current model of public services”.
“And it is a vital part of our mission to dismantle Big Government and build the Big Society in its place.” He said. “The grip of state control will be released and power will be placed in people’s hands. Professionals will see their discretion restored. There will be more freedom, more choice and more local control.”
But Cameron’s plan is to take public services out of the hands of the people, and put them in the hands of private global businesses, which are unaccountable. For the vast majority of people there will be less choice – and often no service at all, as the profitable services are cherry picked by big business, leaving less profitable contracts to fall by the way-side.
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