Monday, 15 February 2010

Boy George's Big Idea

George Osborne's big idea on R4's 'Today' this morning is to allow whole parts of the public service to turn themselves into non-profit making co-ops to run their existing services. It doesn't take a genius to start to see the holes in this;
  1. TUPE means the new co-ops will have to maintain existing pay and conditions - including pension conditions and liabilities. So no financial gain for the taxpayer except in the long term as transferred staff drop off the payroll.
  2. Without profits, where is the incentive for staff to become detached?
  3. Contracts with the employing authority will need to be for a decent term - say five or seven years - and make it difficult and expensive for the taxpayer to vary or determine early
No doubt readers will see more difficulties.

This suggestion comes straight from the Central Statist school of government; not much more than a Thatcher-Lite version of compulsory competitive tendering. The central command structure under which schools, hospitals and councils are no more than extensions of Whitehall staffed with a plethora of £100k+ functionaries will change not one jot.

Osborne's anti-Localism is really starting to irritate me.


Blue Eyes said...

Yup, and his obvious lack of intellectual rigour. Hot on the heels of the good idea to let anyone scrutinise and propose policies because there are lots of bright people outside politics here is George pouting around giving the impression that nobody will be able to spot the flaws in his plans because everyone is stupider than he is.

I think I'm going to hate the Cameron government a lot.

Umbongo said...

"I think I'm going to hate the Cameron government a lot."

I think that Cameron and Osborne are well on track to save you from that particular burden.

English Pensioner said...

This is what happened to produce the so-called government agencies or authorities, all of which carry out tasks once performed by the civil service. Driving Licences, Road Tax, Passports, TV licences, etc are all done by these agencies.
The advantage to government is that they can deny all responsibility for their actions, and of course the people involved are no longer civil servants so it looks good on paper.
I know, I was one of those involved years ago when I was compulsorily transferred from the then DTI to the Civil Aviation Authority and so was no longer a civil servant. My pension is (at least in theory) still guaranteed by the government.

Budgie said...

"No doubt readers will see more difficulties."

Like having to pay back £1.5 trillion of debts instead of wittering on about changing the civil service into co-ops. Darling has more sense than boy George.