Labour reveals plan to ban privatisation in prisons, health and benefits services

Posted On: 
24th March 2019

A Labour government would ban handing government contracts to private companies to deliver healthcare, prisons services and benefits assessments.

The ban would aim to stop central government handing out a string of contracts.
Credit: 
PA Images

Shadow Communities Secretary Andrew Gwynne said the party would “shift the scales and bring democracy and accountability back to government”.

Labour pointed to a number of outsourcing blunders over the years - including the Birmingham prison contract which was seized back from G4S after cockroaches, blood and vomit were found in corridors.

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The party has condemned the use of outsourcing to assess disability benefit claimants and to deliver Cancer-scanning services in Oxford.

Under the proposed plans, Labour would end the outsourcing of contracts that deal with people deemed to be “at risk” - as well as those that infringe on human rights or entail the use of “coercive powers”.

However, there will be some exceptions for contracts below a certain value, or those currently in use that are working, as well as those deemed impossible to deliver by the public sector.

Mr Gwynne said: “For too long the British public have paid the price for outsourcing.

“The Tories’ dogmatic commitment to markets at all costs has delivered sub-standard services at inflated prices. And when they fail, as they often do, it’s the taxpayer that picks up the bill.

“Labour is proposing a radical new settlement that gives people the power to end outsourcing and decide for themselves how best to deliver the services they need.

“For too long this country has been run by and in the interests of a small few who are all in it together.

“It’s time to shift the scales and bring democracy and accountability back to government, and put power in the hands of the many.”