The UK Government has Published its White Paper on Open Public Services. Their priorities are:
- Choice – wherever possible we will increase choice
- Decentralisation – Power should be decentralised to the lowest appropriate level
- Diversity – Public services should be open to a range of providers
Fairness – We will ensure fair access to public services
- Accountability – Public services should be accountable to users and taxpayers.
Crocels has responded to it in depth as you can see at the bottom of this post. We suggest that the following questions need to be answered in response to it. Comments are welcomed from visitors to this site by using the form below.
Enabling the Big Society
1. The White Paper asks about empowering public sector staff to take control of their own services in new enterprises like mutuals. Equally, how can the skills of members of the public be raised so that they may be emancipated from the controlling state, where they may have a voice at the ballot box, but have little choice in the decisions made for them?
2. The White Paper envisages actively encouraging new providers, of all sizes and from all sectors, to deliver public services. How can those elected representatives who believe in the means of production, distribution and exchange being in the hands of the State and imposed by democratically elected governments, be transitioned to a people-led society where government plays a smaller role than at present?
Changing Models of Enforcement
3. The White Paper says the Government wants to involve independent champions like Which in open public services. Crocels agrees with this in principle and ask: Would a body like this make a better job of enforcing trading standards than local authorities?
4. The White Paper speaks about school and university admissions. Would it be fairer if the top 5% of students at every school, regardless of the marks of the candidate get given an A* grade? This could mean those from disadvantaged areas could meet admission criteria for elite universities even though there is still work to do in improving local provision.
5. The White Paper speaks about the English Baccalaureate. Would it not be better to have a system similar to Bologna to harmonise qualifications across the EU while using Europass Mobility to explain local curricula?
6. The White Paper speaks about the Pupil Premium and school funding. Could the Pupil Premium be used to allow greater choice and mobility of pupils beyond catchment areas, such as on the basis of the successful Assisted Places Scheme?
7. The White Paper speaks about improving school funding arrangements. As in the previous paragraph, could this be done of the basis of choice so the funding goes directly to schools picked by the students parents and by-passing the local authorities?
Healthcare and Disability
8. The White paper talks about various health funding schemes such as for sufferers of chronic health conditions, adult social care, and support for special educational needs (SEN) and disability. Would it not be best if these various pots of money were given to the persons preferred P4+choice service provider, for example Bupa/AXA/etc. in the case of healthcare, or charities like the NAS for people with autism or RNIB for people who are blind, who are currently financed from Direct Payments?
9. What changes need to be made to economic models based on financial capital so that they take account of the “mass-collaboration” drive of the Big Society, where volunteers and involunteers’ give or are made to give their time often only being exposed to opportunity cost.
10. Could the ‘P4+contingent’ model be the mandatory option for those out of work? Could this mean they will always be available for work should they be needed to cover for people who have withheld their labour?
11. Would a P4+gov body as the enforcer against everyday trespasses, like drunk and disorderly behaviour and other anti-social offences using P4+self ‘contingent workers’ be more cost effective than the current employee-based policing structure?
12. Will this proposed localised non-criminal resolution of trespasses, where something is a crime if the person feels ‘bleasured’ and this is found to be proven through ‘actus reus’ and ‘malum reus’ more quickly resolve ‘crime’ than the current system?
13. Would a protracted dualist judicial process discourage vexatious claims and reduce the likelihood of ‘ambulance chasers’ trying to make a quick profit?
14. Would removing police from day-to-day trespasses, where they stand likely to lose their jobs is crime is reduced, and replacing them with charities who have an interest in the victim, and insurance companies worried about their bottom line be more likely to lead to the resolution of ‘crimes’?
Cross-border use of welfare and tax and law enforcement
15. Does it make sense that National Insurance be used to fund health-care and social services support for UK Citizens wherever in the EU they are?
16. Would having a welfare system modelled on the ‘student loan’ system mean that other EU Nationals would have to pay back the ‘benefit payments’ they claimed in the UK when they go back home or anywhere else in the world?
17. Would having cross-border IT systems which flag-up registered offenders when they approach risk-areas, make it easier for EU Citizens to self-enforce the law through people-sector organisations like Neighbourhood Watch or other P4+gov initiatives?
18. Would EU-wide private-sector provided systems like Google Latitude make it easier for EU citizens to intercept property stolen from other EU citizens?
Detailed Response on Scribd
Crocels’s Reponse to Government White Paper on Open Public Services – Towards a P4 Mixed Economy
Your Point of View
If you have answers to the questions above or any other views please make them in the reply form below