Privatisation and the associated market values and principles is another form of robbing Scotland’s public wealth and transforming the democratic provision of public services to market transactions.
Local authorities of all hues have been busy outsourcing by creating limited liability partnerships. Even in core areas of public service in local government market disciplines have been introduced on the assumption that Public Sector approaches are inefficient (meaning they offer properly staffed services with trained personnel) and that the Private sector is slick and effective, despite the scandals from private care homes to security at the Olympics.
In the manufacturing sector so entrenched is the notion of ‘Public Bad, Private Good’ that little thought is given to developing and creating industry which would be publicly or cooperatively owned and where the benefits would remain in, and be spent in Scotland.
An example is renewables. The Scottish Government speaks of re-industrialising Scotland with a renewables revolution, but not through Government, local authority or community owned projects. Instead the Government is offering generous subsidies to multi-national corporations and private equity firms to develop speculative private projects with the profits repatriated to the boardrooms of London, Madrid and Paris.
In construction, the dogma of neo-liberalism is applied despite the overwhelming evidence that privatisation, PFI and PPP schemes are expensive, often less efficient, bad for workers and the environment and generally not in the best interests of Scotland and its people. The SNP’s alternative to Labour’s PPP/PFI, Non Profit Distributing (NPD) scheme is simply another variant.