Easington MP accuses Coalition of “running amok” with the NHS
Health select committee member and Labour MP Grahame Morris said that the planned outsourcing of treatments was part of a massive shift towards backdoor privatisation of all public services.
And he predicted that when the full extent of the coalition’s agenda is made clear, ministers will suffer a huge public backlash.
In a Westminster Hall debate spearheaded by the Easington MP on ‘outsourcing to the private sector by government departments’ he claimed politicians were in danger of losing control of public services as the influence of business over public policy was set to rise due to Coalition reforms.
“Ordinary people oppose rapid upheaval and fundamental reforms to public services,” he said.
“Yet this government has run amok with the NHS and forged ahead with public service ‘reform’ and outsourcing at a breakneck speed.”
He insisted that Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude had exposed the government’s real agenda by saying he wanted to “extend competition in the provision of public services further and faster than ever before” with no bias between public and private sector providers.
Mr Morris said: “His government is out of step with the public on public service reform.
“Whereas ordinary people want public services in public hands for the public good, the government wants public services outsourced to business for the good of private profit.
“Whereas ordinary people want universalism, the government wants to decentralise, remove targets and create local variations and postcode lotteries, going against the idea of standardised and universal access.
“Frontline workers are being treated like pawns in a game of chess facing constant change, reorganisations and regarding at the whim of the political elites.
“Across the public sector, workers know that this latest policy move, towards the mass outsourcing of services and a free-for-all for businesses is the last hurrah.
“It means the end of job security for staff.
“It means the end of nationally determined pay, terms and conditions.”
Mr Morris predicted that under the coalition public services will become “ever more fragmented, unstable and variable offering short-term and risky employment not by the state but by any fly-by-night private outfit.”
He pointed to the contracting out of police services, 999 call centres, benefits administration and road building as the pace of government out-sourcing gathers speed.
“As more services are passed over to the private sector there is also a stark danger that we lose control over our public services altogether,” Mr Morris added