A letter a day to number 10. No 1,520
Friday 11 August 2016.
Dear Mrs May,
I confess that I am confused. Why oh why are you Tories hell bent on privatising the state?
Private companies, small businesses, trades and so on, serve a useful function bringing goods and services to people and it is perfectly reasonable to make a profit. Supply and demand is fine but public services are a very different animal. Bidding to take over a part of state provision inevitably harms that provision and does not serve the public interest, but that of the interests of the board room.
A percentage of the public money given to these companies is siphoned off as profit and that makes no sense when all that money could be used to maintain and improve publicly owned services.
Inevitably, privatisation means cost cutting and cutting corners (streamlining or efficiency drives to maximise profit), cutting services and jobs thus putting remaining staff under pressure to do more with less, including repressed pay. Everyone loses except the owners and executives whose pay often rises dramatically and we have no means to restrain executive pay, we just end up paying more. As we’ve seen so often, the greed of the few trumps the needs of the many.
Once a service is privatised public oversight and accountability is lost, it’s our money being spent but we have no say in how it is spent, there is no democratic accountability and companies can hide their activities behind commercial confidentiality.
Once a public service is privatised it is difficult and expensive to get it back if it fails for whatever reason. If it’s not already in turmoil, it enters a time of uncertainty which can dramatically adversely affect the public and staff.
Public services offer real jobs to people and the skills and training to do those jobs. David Cameron boasted of creating a million jobs, he did nothing of the sort of course and zero hours contracts rose dramatically under his government. These are essentially junk jobs adding to the precariousness of his ideologically imposed austerity and poverty is still on the increase no matter how much people want to ‘get on’. If the country is to recover then keep public services public, fully fund our NHS and train staff, build social housing which would be a massive boost to the real economy and stop the ridiculous privatisation scam and the transfer of public wealth into private pockets. Why are you Tories married to something which is fundamentally flawed and absurd?