5 reasons why public ownership is better for you
Public ownership means putting the people who use public services first, above private profit.
Here are 5 reasons why that's better for you.
1. You use it
Meeting your needs – whether that's at the doctors' surgery or at the post office – should mean giving you time, attention and care. Public ownership makes it easier for staff to take the time that’s needed rather than squeezing services to boost profits. This means that when public services are in public hands, they tend to be better run. Local authorities across the UK are bringing services in-house to improve their quality and value for money.
2. You pay for it
Public services are something we all pay for, and we all use. Public ownership means your money is better spent, both locally and nationally. Money can be reinvested into services to improve them, instead of subsidising the profits of private companies. Savings are also made because services are integrated and there is no need to manage contracts. Publicly run East Coast rail has saved the taxpayer £800 million and if water was in public hands, household water bills would be around £80 a year cheaper.
3. You have a say in it
When public services are run by local or national government, it's easier for you to know who to turn to when you want to complain, and to have your say in how you want services to be improved. The public sector must make data available to you and respond to Freedom Of Information requests (unlike the private sector). Public ownership also means it's possible for the whole of society to decide on a goal (for example, a long term energy policy) and achieve it efficiently. Most people want public services to be provided publicly and almost all of us want a say in how they are run.
4. You share it
Public services are something we all share. When services are owned by all of us, it's easier for staff to work with service users and community groups to improve them. This can and should involve imaginative ways to keep making them better. In the 21st century, public services should be about people, not profit. Public ownership can sometimes involve the voluntary sector, social enterprises and cooperatives where that's the right solution, and where there are safeguards in place to protect public assets.
5. Examples all over the world show that it works better
In the UK, despite the current drive to privatise, many local authorities are bringing services in-house to boost satisfaction and save money. Across Europe, public ownership is making a comeback. For example, the water in Paris is now owned and controlled by the city, and in Germany energy is being generated locally by publicly owned utilities. In the US, a fifth of all previously outsourced services have been brought back in-house.
We're working towards more public ownership and accountability by asking councils to sign up to our new campaign: Our Services Our Say.
Yes! I want public services for people not profit.
Tue 20 Sep 2016.
Mon 19 Sep 2016.
Fri 12 Feb 2016.
Wed 27 Jan 2016.
Tue 15 Oct 2013. Source: www.opendemocracy.net