Better public services requires devolving power, not more targets and guarantees

The IEA responds to plans in Labour's manifesto

In response to Labour’s manifesto plans, Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“Labour’s plans announced today stand in stark contrast to the devolution necessary to improve public services. Guarantees and targets such as personal tuition for struggling primary school pupils, 1,000 federated schools by 2015 and ‘fathers’ month’, are the polar opposite of a system led by those using it.”

“If Labour is serious about transforming the standard of service provision the public receives, it should give people direct control over where their children go to school or how their healthcare is delivered. The system needs turning on its head. It’s those who use the services that best understand what they need and when those providing it are failing.”

“Overall, these plans equate to centralised bureaucracy-led aims and objectives, not individual empowerment.”

“There has never been a time when drastic reform of public services was so necessary. Giving more power to those in Whitehall will only make government more expensive. Labour has said it won’t raise income taxes, but in order to pay for these reforms it will need to get the money from somewhere else.”

To arrange an interview with Mark Littlewood, IEA Director General or Professor Philip Booth, IEA Editorial and Programme Director, please contact Ruth Porter, Communications Manager, 077 5171 7781, 020 7799 8900,

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