Corbyn blasts outsourcing and pledges public service renaissance

26 Sep 18

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn promised to “confront the challenge of rebuilding our public services” after nearly a decade of austerity, at the party’s conference today.

Citing the example of Northamptonshire County Council – which was this year forced to issue two section 114 notices, meaning it is effectively bankrupt – Corbyn said vital public services had been “pushed over the edge”.

He blamed “destructive austerity and obsessive outsourcing” for leaving councils “teetering on the precipice”. He vowed a Labour government would end the “racket” of privatisation and outsourcing in the public sector.

“We will rebuild the public realm and create a genuinely mixed economy for the 21st century,” he told the conference in Liverpool.

“And after a decade of austerity, the next Labour government will confront the challenge of rebuilding our public services.”

He blamed the government’s recent intervention with Birmingham prison on privatisation – it is run by the firm G4S – and the collapse of “giant privateer Carillion” as “leaving hospitals half-built, workers dumped on the dole and pensions in peril”.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth had told the Labour conference earlier today that Labour would “step in” when hospital builds stall, “take control and ensure hospitals are completed using public money not PFI”.

In his speech, the Labour leader also pledged to make 30 hours a week of free childcare available to all two, three and four year olds.

“And we will provide additional subsidised hours of childcare on top of the free 30-hour allowance, free for those on the lowest incomes and capped at £4 an hour for the rest,” he told delegates.

Corbyn said his party would introduce a 10-year plan to ensure most of the workforce in childcare was graduate educated, and that the pay and skills of people looking after children were improved with a national pay scale starting at £10 an hour.

He also promised that Labour would put “another 10,000 police officers back on our streets”, protect the triple lock on pensions and protect the winter fuel allowance.

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