Corbyn calls for roll back in privatisation of public services

8 Feb 16

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for councils to take back direct control of local services, including the provision of utilities such as power and water.

In a speech to the Association of Labour Councillors at the weekend, Corbyn said there was a need to “roll back the tide” of privatisation.

Privatised and outsourced public services, he said, were less transparent and accountable to citizens and resulted in poorer terms and conditions for employees.

“It locks people out of decision-making, makes services less accountable, too often means a bad deal for taxpayers, a bad deal for communities and a bad deal for those that work in the services too.”

The Labour leader highlighted European cities, which often have control of energy and water services, and suggested English local government should be similarly empowered.

But Corbyn’s remarks drew criticism from the CBI.

Public services director Neil Caberry said: “As government rightly tackles the deficit, business innovation and investment has been vital to making public services more effective and efficient. 

“Ruling out private sector involvement would restrict access to the best ideas needed to transform public services to ensure they remain high quality and affordable.”

  • Vivienne Russell

    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and publicfinance.co.uk

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