Brit PM proposes public service makeover

July 11, 2011 at 11:16 PM
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LONDON, July 11 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron's plan to open up the country's public services to the private sector drew thumbs down from union leaders Monday.

Under the Open Public Services White Paper, published and presented to Parliament's House of Commons, virtually all public services, national security, front-line policing and the judicial system could be provided by the private and voluntary sectors, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"Let me assure you of this: We are as committed to modernizing our public services as we have ever been," Cameron said in a speech delivered in east London. "I'm not going to make the mistakes of my predecessors … blocking reform, wasting opportunities and wasting time. This is a job that urgently needs to be done, and we are determined to see it through."

Union members are furious with his plan, however, The Guardian reported.

"Not only does Cameron want to wash his hands of providing public services, he wants cut price privatization," Dave Prentis, leader of Unison, a public service union, said. "He is removing protections on workers' pay and conditions, creating a race to the bottom, so that services are more attractive to private buyers."

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union boss, Bob Crow, said the Cameron government would "privatize the air we breathe if they thought they could," the Daily Mirror reported.

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