Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kevin Rowan Column

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kevin Rowan Column

Article excerpt

Byline: By Kevin Rowan

Last week saw yet another bout of kicking the public sector from people who ought to know better.

Neil Murphy's suggestion that the public sector was "too big" backed by Sarah Green's assertion that terms and conditions in the public sector are stifling growth in the private sector are technically flawed and strategically weak.

The assertion that the public sector is too big just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. As an IPPR report in 2005 showed, around 28.5% of people in work in the North-East are employed in the non-marketed public sector, compared with 20.9% in the South-East (19.1% in London).

On the face of it this would seem high, but the need for public services has a closer relationship with the population as a whole, rather than just those in work.

I would go further ( the lower the employment rate, the greater the need for public services, to support those out of work or to care for those who are ill or infirm.

If you compare the percentages of population rather than employment the picture is very different: 11.8% of the population in this region work in the non-marketed public sector ( health, education and public administration ( 10.8% in the South-East and 11.6% in London.

So the "problem" of the public sector being "too big" is bogus. …

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