"The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it"
Aneurin Bevan

Friday, 12 February 2010

A New Economic Model: Part 7

A New Economic Model: Eight Benchmarks for Britain.

This is my analysis of George Osborne's economic policy should the Conservatives win the next election.

6 Reform public services to deliver better value for money

The Conservatives plan yet more "reforms" of public services. Some of these "reforms" are simply to return public services policy back to where they were in 1997 (for example GP fundholding) or to introduce policies that have been rejected by the public at previous elections (for example, the Patients' Passport proposed for the 2005 election). These reforms are at best a petulant reaction from the Conservatives, but they would mark a return to the dilapidated services run down by Thatcher and Major.

The details:

"We will raise productivity growth in the public sector in order to deliver better schools and a better NHS."

This is a vague platitude. Governments always try to raise productivity in public services and it is erroneous to suggest otherwise. The fact is that the Conservative plans for health and education are to outsource the services. Outsourcing means that someone else has the responsibility, and that someone else has to be financially rewarded for taking on that responsibility. That profit is money that will not be spent on the service.

"We will raise public sector productivity by increasing diversity of provision, extending payment by results, giving more power to consumers and improving financial controls."

"Our health reforms will empower patients, making service providers accountable for results, bring in new providers, and use payment for results to incentivise quality, outcomes and value."

This is the NHS privatisation plan. The plan of "increasing diversity of provision" means less funding for NHS providers, which means less money for your local NHS hospital. This is a cut in funding for NHS providers to produce money that is given to private providers. Cuts and privatisation.

"Our radical school reforms will break open the state monopoly on taxpayer-funded education by removing the obstacles that prevent new providers setting up the new state schools that parents want."

In fact the "draft manifesto" on education does not have any "radical" reforms. The details of the much touted Swedish "free schools" programme was left out. If we assume that Gove's plans will be enacted, it will result in the closure of publicly-run schools and the creation of new schools by education corporations and special interest groups. If you are unlucky you may find that there will be an end of secular education in your area as "faith groups" opening schools in your area mean that the previous, secular, state schools close due to lack of funding. There is one thing that is fopr certain, there will be huge unheavals in education planned for the next few years if the Conservatives gain power.

"We will cut the cost of bureaucracy in Whitehall and quangos by one third over the course of a Parliament."

A cut of a third is huge, this is a promise that they will not be able to keep, and I am surprised that George Osborne's nose did not grow half a metre when he announced this.

No comments:

Post a Comment