David Cameron has unveiled plans to allow private companies to run health and social care services.
The prime minister said the proposals in his Open Public Services White Paper would herald the end of the state monopoly in almost every part of the public sector.
As well as the health sector, education and housing would also be opened up to private companies. Only national security, frontline policing and the judiciary would be left in state control.
Mr Cameron said his ideas would ensure Britain becomes a 'better, fairer country', where residents have 'more freedom, more choice and more local control'.
Labour dismissed the White Paper as spin, saying it contains few new ideas and 'even fewer new proposals'.
The ideas also sparked fury from unions, who accused the PM of giving a green light to wholesale privatisation and risking the quality of public services.
Copyright © Press Association 2011
Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
"Anyone who had any illusion that the Tories and their lapdogs intended anything other than privatising the health service must now be feeling totally deflated. It was the Tory intention all along to get rid of the huge responsibility of actually providing for the health of our citizens; by flogging off the more lucrative aspects to their pals who will make huge profits (registered abroad of course so they don't have to pay UK
taxes) for the shareholders; whilst keeping wages and conditions at minimum level for its employees (not to mention pensions!). This multi-millionaire government will look after their rich shareholder friends, they care little about the old, sick and vulnerable; and we are seen as a necessary evil. They would prefer to employ cheap foreign workers (with
or without a background in nursing) who keep quiet about their conditions, work long hours and accept a minimum wage. After all, what do they care? They can go private! It is pointless bleating about it as they really couldn't care less.
Their manifesto and philosophy was there for anyone who cared to look for it. Unfortunately, we all thought that under 'blue' Labour things couldn't get worse. Unless we make a resounding protest to Flashman David and his rich cronies, the NHS is going to change beyond recognition" - Name and address supplied
"This tells me that in the recent listening process there was'nt any real listening occurring and this government still has its same agenda concerning privatisation of the NHS. Furthermore what does the recent problems with Southern Cross teach us that under these proposals we are likely to see these problems occurring a lot more frequently totally undermining the work being done in the public sector" - Louise Baker, Midlands
"Introducing companies that could be seen as too important to fail is a risky business. They could cream off the profits, get themselves in financial trouble and ask for bail outs from the government" - Robbie, Edinburgh
"So we will have a privatised NHS under this government. After working in the NHS for over 30 years I feel greatly under valued and now will not be even able to retire at 60" - Amanda Broadhurst, Birmingham
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