Date: Wed 2 Sep 2009
UNISON, Scotland’s leading public sector trade union, today slammed a proposal for privatisation of huge swathes of public services - including health and education - "from the people who brought you the economic collapse".
UNISON Scottish Organiser Dave Watson said that a speech proposing "major reform" of Scottish public services with "health and education opened up to competition from the private sector" by the Chief Executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Ron Hewitt was an attempt to create a panic reponse to current economic problems.
Dave Watson said:
"It is pretty incredible that leading representatives of big private business interests should be demanding more control over our public services. This comes from the people who brought you the economic collapse.
"We see this idea from the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce as yet another attempt by private interests to create a panic reponse to current economic problems - which have in fact been brought on by the private sector itself, with the big banks being the main culprits.
"In the frantic calls for still more privatisation I am reminded of a gambler who imagines that one last throw of the dice will solve everything.
"In reality, it is the public sector which has stood up to the economic crisis. We need to see more support for our public services from government, and not less. That is what the public wants too."
An Ipsos Mori poll conducted for UNISON in August showed that support for public service remains strong. In particular it showed that increased private involvement in running public services such as the NHS attracts little support. The poll found that over three quarters of the British public (78%) believe "health services should be run by the Government and public organisations, rather than by private companies".
For Further Information Please Contact:
Dave Watson(Scottish Organiser) 07958 122 409(m)
Malcolm Burns (Information Development Officer) 0141 342 2811