‘Reform-weary’ public sceptical about new public service delivery methods, such as mutuals?

A new public services think-tank, the 2020 Public Services Trust is about to publish the results of consultation it has carried out regarding the use of social enterprise models in public service delivery.

2020 PST says that the feedback they have received indicates that taxpayers believe that any major changes in delivery should be tested in ‘non-core’ service areas before being widely adopted. The initial findings suggest that while people are interested in greater direct control of some public services, they are also inherently distrustful of ‘reform’, reflecting a significant loss of confidence in public policy-making. They are also suspicious and fear that reforms could become party-political or captured by interest groups. Interestingly, they also seem to favour ‘fairness’, ‘security’, ‘predictability’ and ‘uniformity’ over ‘choice’. The story is covered in Public Finance magazine and the 2020 PST website says that the full report will be published next month.

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