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

Saturday, 10 May 2014

The broken Nordic Model

For many years the economic and social model of the Nordic countries - which combined a free market, capitalist economy with a universal welfare state - was held up as an alternative to the ravages of neo liberalism. A Red Pepper article on ‘Sweden’s great welfare heist’ highlights the extent of privatisation since the 1990’s with public contracts subject to competitive tendering and most new clinics and hospitals privately financed and operated: ‘They promised higher quality, cost effectiveness, better working conditions. All three were false. We can see certainly that marketisation increases inequality, especially in Stockholm. The people who need more get less. Resources are distributed according to profit not need. As for the idea that the Swedish welfare system needs big capital to survive, that’s simply a myth. Private equity does not invest money. It extracts money.’