Britons turn against privatisation shows new poll


8:45 am - August 5th 2013

by Newswire    


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A poll by Survation found that Britons rejected default privatisation of public services by a factor of 10:1.

4 in 5 people want to have a say over whether public services are privatised.

80% think there should always be a public sector bid when a public service is contracted out.

The poll was commissioned by We Own It, a new organisation which launches today with a report calling for a Public Service Users Bill.

The Public Service Users Bill would require public ownership to be considered before privatising or outsourcing services, as well as in the bidding process.

Cat Hobbs, Director of We Own It, said:

Despite what the government might think, people aren’t sold on the idea of privatising and outsourcing public services. We hope that this report, and the clear public support for public ownership, will spell the beginning of the end for privatisation-as-usual. In the future, public services will need to be owned by and accountable to the people they serve.’

We Own It’s new report ‘Better in Public Hands’ says public ownership is making a comeback, and includes examples of effective public services from across the UK and the rest of Europe.

Damian Lyons Lowe, Chief Executive of Survation, said:

A clear majority of the general public, including Conservative voters, reject automatic privatisation of public services; 80% want to see public sector bids for all public service tenders, showing a clear desire not to see services simply privatised by default.

For public services that are operated by the private sector, the public would like to see far higher levels of transparency and accountability, with 88% both wanting higher transparency levels and an early end to contracts in case of poor service provision.

A Public Service Users Bill would require that private companies be transparent about their performance and financial data and answer Freedom of Information requests.

Currently, private companies can hide contract details behind a cloak of ‘commercial confidentiality’­.

We Own It’s report follows outrage over the recent tagging scandal, where private companies G4S and Serco were accused of charging taxpayers tens of millions of pounds for electronic tags on criminals who were dead, in jail or had left the country.

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Reader comments


Why should there be any private profit in publicly needed services? Renationalise now!

A more relevant issue for many parents is this news report in the FT in January: London schoolchildren perform the best:

“London schools have improved so rapidly over the past 10 years that even children in the city’s poorest neighbourhoods can expect to do better than the average pupil living outside the capital.”
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8f65f1ce-5be7-11e2-bef7-00144feab49a.html#axzz2YT0kXvIg

How come when 37pc of London residents were born abroad? In the London borough where I live, two maintained schools within walking distance, which are now academies, achieve better average A-level results than Eton.

As for NHS privatisation, most GP surgeries are small businesses. If the NHS pays, why should I worry whether the hospital where I have my operation is privately owned and managed? What matters to me is the quality of the healthcare I receive, not the ownership. What happened at the Mid Staffordshire Hospital is hardly a recommendation for a state run health service. In the news:

The NHS must tackle the “silent scandal” of errors which meant 3,000 patients died needlessly last year, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.

In a speech in London, he suggested the UK had become “so numbed to the inevitability of patient harm that we accept the unacceptable”.

He also said the NHS had 326 “never events” – so unacceptable that they should never happen – in 12 months. [BBC website 21 June 2013]

3. Derek Hattons Tailor

Bob – Do you really think no one ever dies as a result of medical errors in privately owned/run healthcare systems ? The US has an average life expectancy on a par with the developing world, despite being one of the richest countries on earth. Of course the quality of healthcare matter but so does the ownership, if you fiancialise healthcare then inevitably a large chunk of the population will be unable to afford health. It’s not even necessarily poor people either. Many middle class families go bankrupt in the US every year as their insurance runs out and they cannot afford the bills for treatment of long term or chronic conditions.

Derek: “The US has an average life expectancy on a par with the developing world, despite being one of the richest countries on earth.”

The failings of the American healthcare system are widely recognised. The intelligent comparisons to make are with the systems of healthcare in peer-group countries in western Europe. By those standards, independent surveys rate the NHS as mediocre.

It is officially admitted that China’s military employs even more people than the NHS:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVhzu7iIgtY

From the official NHS website:

The NHS employs more than 1.7m people. Of those, just under half are clinically qualified, including, 39,780 general practitioners (GPs), 370,327 nurses, 18,687 ambulance staff and 105,711 hospital and community health service (HCHS) medical and dental staff. Only the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, the Wal-Mart supermarket chain and the Indian Railways directly employ more people.

Bob – Do you really think no one ever dies as a result of medical errors in privately owned/run healthcare systems ?

Bob didn’t suggest anything of the sort.

Criticism of something != wholehearted support for some other thing unmentioned

6. Paul Peter Smith

@ Bob B
“In the London borough where I live, two maintained schools within walking distance, which are now academies, achieve better average A-level results than Eton.”
I’m being cynical I know, but how do they compare for ministerial appointments and representation on the boards of blue chip companies?

In comparisons with healthcare in other western European countries, the NHS rates as mediocre:

“The Netherlands win the 2009 Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI), for the second year in a row – the first time this happens since the EHCI started in 2005 – and with an outstanding margin. Nevertheless, Denmark keeps its runner-up position from last year. Besides the Dutch and Danish system there is a small group of strong performers: Iceland, Austria and Switzerland. Luxembourg leaves the top league, losing 5 positions. Estonia, “the wonder boy” of the EHCI, drops significantly but anyhow delivers value for money healthcare.”

Results matrix:
http://www.healthpowerhouse.com/files/Index-matrix-EHCI-2009-090917-final-A3-sheet-substrate-5.pdf

2. Bob B

‘As for NHS privatisation, most GP surgeries are small businesses. If the NHS pays, why should I worry whether the hospital where I have my operation is privately owned and managed’

Because when your treatment becomes uneconomic you wont get it. If your treatment is uneconomic at the start you wont get it. Given that only about 10% of medicine is evidence based that may come as a relief.

Peter Paul Smith: “I’m being cynical I know, but how do they compare for ministerial appointments and representation on the boards of blue chip companies?”

Those local schools are probably well down the league table for ministerial appointments in Conservative governments but, as I can recall offhand, their alumni include Nick Ross (BBC Crimewatch presenter) and Chris Woodhead, at one time chief inspector of schools.

The important points to make are that Eton fees are expensive (£10,689 per half term, according to the web) so its students usually come from very affluent homes, unless they win a scholarship as Orwell did. And the main advantage of going to Eton is the opportunity gained for social networking aftwards rather than the education, since dozens of maintained schools achieve better average A-level results. Only about 7pc of all school students go to non-maintained schools.

MOCO: “Because when your treatment becomes uneconomic you wont get it.”

NICE – the National Institute for Clinical Excellence – is there to police whether treatments in the NHS are “uneconomic”. Patients who can afford drugs declared to be ‘uneconomic’ can always seek prescriptions in the private sector providing the patients pay for the drugs.

@1

What is a publicly needed service?

Bob B: “The failings of the American healthcare system are widely recognised. The intelligent comparisons to make are with the systems of healthcare in peer-group countries in western Europe.”

That might be the case if our system were moving toward that found in those Western European countries, featuring mostly small and heavily regulated businesses with controlled profits.

But it is not. The likely form of privatisation in the UK is far different, with huge US healthcare corporations, procurement consultants and the wider public sector outsourcing industry being in the driving seat. They have been lobbying the government with great success to create structures which allow them to generate competitive returns for their shareholders by maximising subsidy and minimising both actual provision and staff wages.

Ultimately that same lobbying dynamic is what led to the US system, which is the best in the world for investors.

Privatisation is good, when it establishes genuine competition. The situation we have now is exploitation because many essential services are operated by oligopolies and monopolies that can and do charge what they can. I have more details below.

http://theconscienceblog.com/2012/11/18/privatisation-is-justified-only-if-it-results-in-competition/

13. CloseShave

All you need to know is the Zionist run insurance companies in US/Uk hate us and rip us off every opportunity.

They fix everything in the US (like the financial/housing/whatever scams

When someone falls ill, they deliberatly argue in court over how much they will pay out hoping the person goes insolvent, gives up the claim or dies first!

I suspect the tories are well aware of how unpopular further privatisation will be, hence why they are focusing on a tactic of creeping defacto privatisation being implemented on institutions such as the UK’s universities, the NHS, prisons and policing.


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