General Debate 21/03/11

While John Key and Bill English fiddle-

UK- Private firms to run hospitals in Budget ‘growth’ plan

Private companies are to be given sweeping new powers to run hospitals, more schools and local council services under Budget plans to be unveiled this week, according to leaked documents.

The coalition’s “growth strategy” – to be published on Wednesday at the same time as George Osborne, the Chancellor, delivers the Budget – will promise an “across the board change” in the way public services are run in future.

The controversial move paves the way for private companies to run more schools as well as whole departments of NHS hospitals and council-run services such as parks and road maintenance. Only the judiciary and national security will be explicitly ring fenced off from the private sector.

A leaked late draft of the strategy document, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, promises to “set out an across-the-board change that opens all spheres of government activities to outside providers, except in a small number of specific cases (the judiciary and national security).”

UK Telegraph.