Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Campaign For Public Ownership's Press Release on the Budget

The Campaign for Public Ownership strongly opposes the new privatisation measures announced in Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s Budget.

The government has announced its intention to sell off the Student Loan Book, the air traffic control system, and the state-owned bookmaker the Tote, in public ownership since its inception in 1928. It also pledges to introduce ‘private sector investment’ in the Royal Mail.

It beggars belief that after Britain’s disastrous experience of privatisation the government, (which also announced this week its decision to sell off the High-Speed Rail link), still thinks that selling off publicly-owned assets is the way forward.

While selling off the family silver may lead to short term financial gains for the public purse, in the long term we all lose out, as we end up having to pay higher prices for basic services.

A truly ‘progressive’ government would not be announcing further privatisation, but instead be embarking on a programme of re-nationalisation. Such a programme should start with the re-nationalisation of Britain’s railways, a move supported by over 70% of the people.

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