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Mar 1st, 2016

One step closer to cracking down on private companies

By Carlton Rose

Breaking news: we’re one step closer to cracking down on private companies like Virgin and G4S who are taking over our public services.

Today, the government’s own advisors have backed what 38 Degrees members have been asking for in our hundreds of thousands. That we have a right to know what private companies who run services like our precious NHS are up to.

But here’s the snag. The advice is buried on page 51 of report (page 55 of doc) about transparency laws – known as Freedom of Information (FOI). It’d be easy to miss. David Cameron and his ministers will have the full report on their desks right now. And they’ll be weighing up which bits they should listen to.

Together we’ve come a long way. A few months ago, the government was planning to quietly water down FOI laws. But now, thanks to our huge campaign, they’re considering extending the law instead!

We’re not there yet, but our people power has made huge headway. The expert report today wasn’t even meant to look at private companies, or think about extending our right to know how our money is spent. But 38 Degrees members are front and center – even quoted – in their report (pages 6,7 and 51). Together, we made sure the experts had to tackle this problem.

The next 24 hours could be crucial. The government will be looking at the report and deciding where to go next. And this is the one thing we need to hammer home: don’t let private companies like Virgin get away with hiding how they’re running our NHS.

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