date: 21 February 2011
embargo: For immediate release
Responding to the Prime Minister's proposal announced today (Monday) to make all public services open to private sector bidders, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'This is a naked right wing agenda that takes us right back to the most divisive years of the 1980s.
'The Prime Minister has been telling us that the cuts are sadly necessary, not a secret political project to destroy public services. Yet today's proposal to privatise everything that moves is exactly the kind of proposal that voters would reject if put at an election.
'What is particularly laughable is the idea that this will reduce bureaucracy. Privatisation replaces democratic oversight and accountability with a contract culture that is a job creation scheme for lawyers. Voters and service users lose their say in what will be a get even richer quicker scheme for the companies that win contracts.
'Public service workers should be very afraid. The real profits will come from attacking their terms and conditions, and will only entrench the longest decline in living standards for ordinary people since the 1920s.
'This is classic nasty party stuff.'
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Issued: 21 February, 2011