Brits favour a mix of providers for public services

12 July 2012

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12 July 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha

Three quarters of the public believe public services should be delivered by a mix of government, businesses and charities, according to a CBI survey.

The CBI Public Service Provision Survey published today said a variety of providers would be more innovative and 65 per cent agreed a range would be more successful at reducing costs to the taxpayer than just using one type of provider.

The survey was published on the first anniversary of the government’s Open Public Services White Paper, which looked at reforming public services. Its five objectives were to provide greater choice, decentralise public services, diversify providers of public services, ensure fair access to services and ensure public services are accountable to users and taxpayers.

Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director, said in a statement: “New ideas will only emerge if these services are opened up to alternative providers, such as businesses and charities. The potential benefits are clear and the public is supportive, so we need to see urgent action to open up public services to meet the needs of users, maintain quality and achieve the necessary budget cuts.”

The survey interviewed 1,003 adults in the UK between June and July this year. Both the CBI and charities body the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) are urging the government to continue with its public sector reforms.

Peter Kyle, ACEVO deputy chief executive, said: "The third sector has a long history of providing tailored and people-centred support to those in greatest need and there is solid evidence that inclusion of the sector in the delivery of welfare services has driven up standards and increased user satisfaction.

He added: “The Government has promised to deliver this but so far failed to deliver on a transformative scale, and in an era when people are relying on support in increasing numbers there is no time to waste."

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