The true cost of Trusts & Privatisation vs UK Taxpayers
Historically the provision of Public Services came under the direct control of the Gov to which it was both responsible and accountable in the eyes of its paymasters, that of taxpayers. What could a Gov do in being a constant focus of attention over failure, Public sector pay and working conditions to which there were many past disputes between it and the Trade Unions?. Their answer of course lay in the words “distancing” and “shipping” since to “ship” their accountability onto others distanced them from their responsibility. Today Public Services are either about a “regulator” or a “trust” sandwiched between the Gov and its Public service users.
In todays news (14 07 2009) the BBC Trust has suspended bonuses to TEN members of the Executive Board after earning almost £5 million in salary, some 17% more than last year. TWENTY SEVEN Executives last year earned more than £195,000, that of the PM’s salary which serves to demonstrate the high price taxpayers must pay for a Gov bent upon “shipping” out services to preserve its own face!.
In disbanding monopolies while driving privatisation the result is indeed one of competition however where does that leave ordinary people whom think that the lowest price on offer represents the “real price”?. Private Business is about investors and profits and the more profit from their customers the more tax revenue is enjoyed by the Gov. In essence the Gov shifted their risk into the private domain and to that risk the private sector pay themselves bonus incentives to earn more on behalf of the Gov.
In respect of National Health Service hospitals Public Income tax providing the “funds” to “rent” hospitals from Private Finance Initiative ( PFI ) consortiums whom had acquired “financing” to build them. Under such terms those Hospitals are on long term leases back to the general Public and where “trusts” set specifications on how they should be operated. In recent times the Gov injected an additional £X,000,000 of taxpayers money to remedy “dirty hospitals” but given that budgets ( public funding ) must carry an element of PFI profits too how must one maintain profits other than to spend less of the budget on its intended purpose – that of the responsibility towards patients and not investors..
In the News 16 02 2005 - NHS boss's pay tops £200,000 mark. Among the recently created primary care trusts, the average salary of chief executives was £92,500 - 10% lower than their counterparts in hospital trusts. Acute hospitals paid the highest average salary of just over £112,500, while ambulance trusts paid an average of £85,000. Note the number and variety of “trusts” mentioned here!. Its all very well that Mr Brown dictate that all must spend, spend, spend to boost the economy yet he little realising that taxpayers are hard pressed to either save or spend since most of their money goes in taxation/higher prices towards bodies which now operate on behalf of the Gov and whom enjoy fat bonuses for doing so.
Perhaps its time that a trust distance the Gov from Public Income Tax thus closing its open cheque book and forcing accountability as to its expenditure. At least that way one could measure “value for money” and even pay bonuses should dividends, by means of paying less tax, result from efforts duly paid for towards authority.