Sun Feb 3, 2013, 06:43 AM
xchrom (100,342 posts)
in britain, entrusting healthcare to the loan sharks who ate us
The bankers’ crisis cut Britain deeply, in the form of a bailout that peaked at £1.16 trillion, or $1.84 trillion, according to the National Audit Office. Now, David Cameron's Conservative government is busy selling off national services in chunks to private corporations – coincidentally, to those same investment bankers who created the mess to begin with.
Privatization and cuts threaten services – including public healthcare, education and local services – as the drive for profits against a background of cutbacks means drops in provisions. Worst still, the corporations that will receive massive contracts with British taxpayers’ money are financially unstable: they share track records of financial irregularities, many are subsidiaries of tax-avoiding multinationals, and included are even tax haven-based investment and private equity groups.
In short, Britain is putting its public services, the vital safety net that we get in return for our taxes, in the hands of the least trustworthy and transparent investors imaginable. These are the individuals, remember, who gambled money into an over-inflated property bubble that burst and turned their crisis of speculation into a human crisis. Now, after being bitten by a great loan shark of financial banking, it seems the same shark is going to be entrusted to care for the sick, look after our children and run our local swimming pools.
Getting out the water, instead, seems a sensible idea now.
The banking crisis proved that when banks that are “too big to fail” crash, human crisis ensues - especially in terms of cuts to vital healthcare and welfare spending, which keep people above the poverty line. The cuts alone will reduce British healthcare spending by 8% over the next three years, according to the Financial Times. While there are already 6,000 fewer nurses since the Conservatives took the lead role in government, education spending has also dropped the largest amount in any four-year period since the 1950s, reports the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
1 replies, 381 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
in britain, entrusting healthcare to the loan sharks who ate us (Original post)
Response to xchrom (Original post)
Sun Feb 3, 2013, 07:23 AM
dipsydoodle (39,670 posts)
1. With regard to healthcare
changes are mainly attributable to over use of PFI's which have completely screwn the budgets of some of our Area Health Authorities.
Background here ;
The PFI is ultimately a kind of project finance, a form of private sector delivery of infrastructure that has been used since the Middle Ages. However, the pedigree of the current private finance initiative (PFI) was in Australia in the late 1980s.
In 1992 PFI was implemented for the first time in the UK by the Conservative government of John Major. It immediately proved controversial, and was attacked by the Labour Party while in opposition. Labour critics such as the future Cabinet Minister & Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman, considered that PFI was really a back-door form of privatisation (House of Commons, 7 December 1993), and the future Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, warned that "apparent savings now could be countered by the formidable commitment on revenue expenditure in years to come". Nonetheless, the Treasury considered the scheme advantageous and pushed Tony Blair's Labour government to adopt it after the 1997 General Election. Two months after the party took office, the Health Secretary, Alan Milburn, announced that "when there is a limited amount of public-sector capital available, as there is, it's PFI or bust". PFI continued and, in fact, expanded under Labour, resulting in criticism from many trade unions, elements of the Labour Party, the Scottish National Party (SNP), and the Green Party, as well as commentators such as George Monbiot. Proponents of the PFI include the World Bank, IMF and (in the UK) the CBI.
Both Conservative and Labour governments have sought to justify PFI on the practical grounds that the private sector is better at delivering services than the public sector. This position has been supported by the UK National Audit Office with regard to certain projects. However, critics claim that many uses of PFI are ideological rather than practical; Pollock recalls a meeting with the then Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown who could not provide a rationale for PFI other than to "declare repeatedly that the public sector is bad at management, and that only the private sector is efficient and can manage services well."
In 2003 the Labour Government used Public-private partnership (PPP) schemes for the privatisation of London Underground's infrastructure and rolling-stock. The two private companies created under the PPP, Metronet and Tube Lines have now been taken into public ownership due to their financial problems, at significant cost to the UK taxpayer.