Magazine article Public Finance

'Prejudices' Are Holding Up Private Service Provision, Clarke Tells CBI

Magazine article Public Finance

'Prejudices' Are Holding Up Private Service Provision, Clarke Tells CBI

Article excerpt

A former Labour Cabinet minister has blamed a set of prejudices' for the continued exclusion of the private sector from areas of public service provision.

Speaking at a public services summit held by the CBI business lobby on June 26, former home secretary Charles Clarke said the private and voluntary sectors had a strong record of providing services, but it was still difficult in some areas even to include them in discussions on reform.

He also criticised the use of pilots and initiatives by the government 'It's just ridiculous,' he said. 1 certainly think pilots and initiatives were justified for the first two or three years of this government but they are not justified after 11 years,' he said.

Clarke went on to warn about the range of 'parallel services' in the public sector and said the lack of overall responsibility in many areas presented 'a major problem for social cohesion.

Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell told the summit that 'public service is something which isn't the preserve of the public sector'. He called for the debate to 'move completely away' from the question of whether involving the private sector in some areas was fundamentally good or bad'. …

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