Privatisation of public services: what’s wrong with it?

Privatisation of public services has been a core feature of the corporate globalisation agenda promoted and engineered by international financial institutions. It has been associated with job cuts and the growth of employment insecurity for public service workers, and with price increases for basic services. Promoted as the way to bring services to the billions suffering from state failure to provide decent education, health care and public utilities, privatisation has compounded that problem by shifting power from government agencies to international businesses. Brendan Martin founded Public World, an international network of consultants and researchers committed to working with partners to improve public governance and management. His book In the Public Interest? Privatization and Public Service Reform’ has appeared in six languages, and he has worked in more than 70 countries.