Unions ridicule Policy Exchange report, rejecting its call for wholesale privatisation of public services

Tim Lezard

Policy ExchangeA right wing think tank has called for politicians to ban emergency workers from taking strike action.

The latest publication by the Policy Exchange, Better public services: A roadmap for revolution, also says the government must stand up to militant trade unionists if they are to deliver a wholesale revolution in the way public services are delivered.

But the report was ridiculed by unions, who rejected its call for the wholesale privatisation of public services.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This report is no more than a call for the wholesale privatisation of all public services. But the British people do not want US-style profit-making introduced into services like the NHS.

”The truth is that union members – particularly in the emergency services – are always reluctant to take strike action and only do so when no other way of resolving a dispute is available. Even then it is only after a proper ballot and with emergency cover plans in place.

“The British public will see through this smear on public service workers from a right-wing think tank that refuses to reveal who funds it.”

UNISON general secretary, Dave Prentis, said: “This is the same tired old right wing rubbish from the Tory party’s favourite think tank.

“Emergency workers always provide essential cover on strike days. It is shameful of Policy Exchange to claim that paramedics, nurses and midwives would put the public at risk.

“The biggest threat to our public services are the Tory-led coalition’s drastic cuts and the profit making private companies circling the public sector like sharks.

“Private company involvement in public services is at best a waste of money and at worst a danger to the public. Just think of the catastrophic failure of G4S’s handling of the Olympic contract, or the risk posed to the public by Harmoni’s disastrous handling of an out-of-hours GPs service.”

A recent survey by UNISON revealed that the overwhelming majority of the public (73%) do not want public services to be run by private companies.


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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