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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 April 2005

Private hands off public services!

"NOTHING IS off limits now and the potential for the private sector is massive," one businessman gloated to the Financial Times. He was talking about New Labour's manifesto commitment to 'outsourcing' our public services to private firms.

An information technology and outsourcing analyst, Kable, says that up to 60 billion worth more of our public services could be in private-sector hands by 2007.

The government is already buying an ever-widening range of services from private suppliers - hospital operations, electronic tagging, IT functions etc. As a big business lobbyist points out, the government spends 42% of Britain's GDP so the public sector is still the biggest purchaser of goods from private firms.

For years New Labour has been outsourcing any new services and selling off much of the rest to private companies like Capita. This firm runs the Criminal Records Bureau, the teachers' pension system and London's Congestion Charge. In 1996 its turnover was 112 million, last year it was 1.3 billion. Total returns for shareholders have averaged 36% a year.

Private firms are also muscling in on the NHS through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Between 2000 and 2003, 26% of Labour's new NHS money was spent paying PFI charges for overpriced private-built new hospitals.

Who's made money out of it? Private companies like Carillion who value their PFI schemes at 83 million, a 'healthy' return on a 29 million investment. By selling off investments on the 'secondary market', they've doubled their share price in the last six years. Such parasites will still be sucking our cash from the NHS in 30 years time.

Privatisation schemes and outsourcing are a far more expensive way of providing public services than public ownership.

But Blair is encouraging these parasitic private owners. Big business aims to steal our future - don't let them.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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In The Socialist 21 April 2005:

Market madness wrecks NHS

Big business plunges NHS into crisis

Drive poverty pay out of the NHS

The Socialist Alternative

Save Rover

Renationalise Rover - change the system!

Renationalise London's tube

Private hands off public services!

Profits soar, wages fall in the globalised economy

A socialist world is necessary

  Nancy 'woos' voters with socialism

Socialist Party complains about imbalance in Newsnight

How red are the Greens?

When Blair ditched socialism from the Labour Party


 

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Privatisation:

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triangleWater shortage warning: nationalise now!

triangleJohnson blames care workers for deaths

triangleBangladesh: Stop closure and privatisation of Jute Mills

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triangleNon-fiction: Left Out - the inside story of Labour under Corbyn

triangleTUSC to stand in elections again against pro-austerity politicians

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triangleCapitalism fails NHS services in Liverpool: scrap PFI!

triangleNorthern Ireland: strike action by NHS workers

triangle300 NHS nurse suicides in seven years - fully fund our health service now!

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triangleNHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

triangleCoventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges

Big business:

triangleTesting: Tories' 5bn gift to private sector

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