Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech on public service reform today, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the IEA, said that true reform will only be achieved by slashing spending and turning many services over to the private sector.
“Reform in services will never be achieved while public spending remains so high. David Cameron is right to pinpoint the NHS as an institution requiring radical change, but this will never come to fruition whilst its budget is ringfenced and it is protected from outside competition. Instead we will see simply a tweaking of a failed model.
“Despite the rhetoric, the coalition’s cuts are exceptionally modest. The recent VAT rise merely serves to highlight their inadequacy in dealing with our gargantuan budget deficit. Tougher measures are needed.
“Reform in public services will be achieved through allowing market forces to determine price and drive efficiency. This involves liberating a great deal of our services from the dead hand of the state. The Prime Minister has the opportunity to achieve his legacy of reform, but only if he possesses the political courage to slay some of the sacred cows of state sponsorship.”
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NOTES TO EDITORS
The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.