We Own It, the anti-privatisation campaign, has launched a public petition calling for a new Public Service Users Bill “to give us a say over our public services, put our needs first and make outsourcing companies transparent and accountable”.
“Privatisation is failing and outsourcing is a mess,” says the We Own It website. “Behind closed doors, your public services are handed over to private companies who put their profit before your needs. But if we all stand together, we can create a better future.”
The petition – ‘Yes! I want pubic services for people not profit’ – is already more than half way towards its target of 7,000 signatures. Anyone can add their name online.
Of the proposed Bill, We Own It say: “Your doctor’s surgery, local police station, care centre or railway – they’re all your public services. But right now, they can be privatised or outsourced, and run by companies that don’t have to tell you anything. What about your rights? You don’t have any. Let’s change that with a Public Service Users Bill to give you a say.”
In brief, the Bill would mean:
- You would be consulted before any public service is privatised or outsourced (supported by 79% of the public).
- You would be consulted in general about the services you receive through public service contracts.
Public services are run for your benefit, not profit
- Local or national government would have to thoroughly consider public ownership before contracting out (supported by 60% of the public).
- If the service is put out to tender, there would always be a realistic, thorough in-house bid from the public sector (supported by 80% of the public).
- Organisations that are focussed on meeting your needs rather than making a profit – the public sector and cooperatives, genuine mutuals, charities and social enterprises – would be more likely to win contracts (supported by 57% of the public).
Private companies can be held accountable
- You would be able to see performance and financial data from the private companies running your public services – they would be as transparent as the public sector (supported by 88% of the public).
- You could make Freedom of Information requests to private companies running public services (48% of the public mistakenly believe this is already the case).
- You would have a ‘right to recall’ private companies who are doing a bad job (supported by 88% of the public).
The organisation is also asking you to write to your MP to get their support for the Bill, while the campaign has devised an interactive infographic to illustrate its arguments.
For more information visit the We Own It website.