CLPD Newsletter No.65

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CLPD Newsletter

No.65 (Contemporary Resolutions Edition) September 2002 (pdf download)

Call a Moratorium on PFI

Eighty-three per cent of the public think public services should be publicly run. And that was even before the latest PFI revelations such as those involving air-traffic control and the Child Support Agency.

The common thread, whether we're talking railways, prisons or passports, is longterm profits for shareholders and longterm debts for the taxpayer -- not to mention an unaccountable level (or even absence) of service, and the likelihood of a "two-tier" pattern of employment afflicting the lowest paid workers in particular.

One of the myths still peddled by the apologists for PFI is that the private sector takes on "risk". In fact this argument is intrinsically flawed. Privateers contracted to provide an essentially public service know that at the end of the day the government will have to pay up whatever they demand or else face the wrath of the voters. And if all else fails it's not the fat cats who will have to bail out the service, but the taxpayers.

Blackpool gives us the opportunity to put a stop to the anti-social nonsense of PFIs and PPPs. Contemporary motions on PFI in practice are needed if the Government is to be told to ditch its Thatcherite dogma and start to recognise "what works".

Did you know that --

>> The Rail Passengers' Council has received 146,288 formal complaints in the year ending March 2002 -- even more than in the previous year?

>> Since 1996 public subsidies to the railways have amounted to 10 billion, while over the same period private companies' profits from the network have amounted to 7.5 billion?

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