By Claire West

Commenting on plans trailed by the prime minster this week for more privatisation of public services, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said:

“The Tories made a lot of the fact that they listened when half a million people signed a petition against selling off our forests.

“But the prime minster appears to have learned nothing from the experience. Mr Cameron confirmed today that his government wants to press ahead with the biggest sell-off in living memory, offering up more of our public services to private industry.

“He claims the state - which let us not forget is you, me and everyone else in this country - should have to justify why it should ever operate a monopoly.

He should justify to us why his few rich friends should be able to make a profit off the backs of the ill health, education and welfare support of the many

“Why? He should justify to us why his few rich friends should be able to make a profit off the backs of the ill health, education and welfare support of the many.

“Public services do not discriminate; the welfare state exists to provide help for citizens in times of need.

“It looks after the millions; Cameron just looks after the millionaires.

“The fact is that no private education system in the world has ever provided universal access to learning, no private hospital has ever opened its doors to the sick and needy regardless of their ability to pay.

“Nowhere has the private sector ever run services for the benefit of all. When profit is the aim, the poor and the vulnerable are the victims.

“The inspiring and instructive mass campaign against the privatisation of our natural heritage shows that people simply do not trust big business with our national assets.

“And, when coupled with massive cuts in public spending, no one really believes the voluntary sector will have the capacity to pick up more work.

“If the government is prepared to listen when half a million sign a petition against the forest sell-off, just think what double that amount on the streets of London on 26 March could achieve.”