UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

UK Government persists with Outsourcing to disguise economic failure

The West Coast Rail franchise debacle,G4S, Southern Cross, Connaught. The list goes on – how many more failures of public procurement and contracting out do we need in order to nail the Government’s obsession with outsourcing? Even senior Tory figures admitted during the G4S debacle that big outsourced contracts fail and the risk is far too great to the public sector. And yet the Cabinet Office continues to promote the involvement of private contractors in public services.

Whilst the public sector has never delivered everything directly, in the years prior to Thatcher and New Labour, judgements on what services were outsourced were based on what worked best and measured risk – not ideological driven decisions born from a misplaced faith that the private sector are somehow more efficient and can deliver services better.

Maude is obsessing with the idea that if you shrink the state then you can make room for private growth. In reality the public and private economies are intrinsically linked. Destroying the public sector and opening it up to unmeasured and unfettered risk will harm both the public and private industry – because this Government is encouraging the private sector to make business decisions that are commercially unsafe for them resulting in the level of contract failures that we are now seeing. Public outsourcing under this incompetent shower is merely to disguise their economic failure and try to generate the illusion of ‘savings’ to justify their failing economic policy.

Anna Rose