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Privatisation of public services is an election issue say Greens

Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London said: "Public services must be efficient, effective and well resourced, with decent public funding from central government. They play an important role in providing secure, quality employment, locally and should be at the heart of our communities."

Across London, Greens have opposed and spoken out against:

· Privatisation of the tube, including the current PPP plans
· Hospital PFI schemes, such as the current scheme for the Whittington Hospital in Camden/Islington
· School PFI schemes such as those in Merton
· Sell off of council housing
· Privatisation of postal services

Jean Lambert continued: "Greens opposed tube privatisation because it offers bad value for money and is unlikely to deliver better services than the public sector could. With vital public services such as health and education, there is greater reason not to leave provision to market forces."

Virtually all public services could be privatised in one way or another. The government denies this, but has signed up to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Under GATS, all public services could be privatised and the process is effectively irreversible, as governments must accept bids to run public services from the private sector, including foreign companies.

Jean Lambert concluded: "It may be the Government and multinational corporations that are pushing the privatisation agenda, but it is locally that the effects are felt. We are starting to witness the wholesale privatisation of Town Hall services. As well as working at a national and international level, we must resist this locally. Greens elected to London’s borough councils on May 2nd will put protection of public services firmly on agenda."

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