Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/515/3597
The privateers are taking over
UNDER THE gleeful heading "Private sector role in public services explodes," the Financial Times reported that the private sector's supply of public services "now makes a bigger contribution to the economy than pharmaceuticals, the automotive industry or aerospace."
A study by Oxford Economics says that private and voluntary organisations now supply at least £44 billion worth of public services - prison places, NHS treatments, government buildings, IT projects, social care and education.
This is nearly a fifth of all public service 'delivery' according to the employers' organisation, the CBI, which is all in favour of private firms taking over profitable services or cherry-picking other services for their money-making parts.
Privatisation's main role was always to give high profits to private industry. Gordon Brown told the conference of the employers, the CBI, that where it provided 'value', the private sector's role in public services would grow "at an increasing pace".
It obviously has great 'value' for the privatisers but not to service-users, public-sector workers or workers in the privatised sectors who tend to be paid lower wages.
Integrated care - multinational style?
ATOS ORIGIN is the 'worldwide information technology partner' for the Olympic Games. It also manages the Canary Wharf Walk-In Centre in Tower Hamlets.
They are also responsible for occupational health for Royal Mail and HM Prison Services, provide medical assessments for the DWP and all medical input to ill-health retirement and injury benefit schemes for the largest pension scheme in Europe (yes the NHS).
Imagine the scene: you're off sick and your doctor, occupational health team and benefits worker are all employed by Atos Origin - not what is usually understood by the term integrated care! But as Atos say themselves, they save money for the employers.
In The Socialist 10 January 2008:
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party review