By Daniel Hunter
On the first anniversary of the Government’s Open Public Services White Paper, a CBI survey published today (Wednesday) shows that at least two thirds of people say having different organisations delivering public services - including government, charities and the private sector - is better than having just one provider.
With the Government reportedly only a fraction of the way through its programme of departmental spending cuts, there is a long way to go before the deficit is brought under control. On the back of the new CBI research, both it and charities’ body ACEVO are urging the Government to keep up the pace of reform.
The new survey of 1003 British adults reveals that:
· 75% agree a variety of different providers would be more successful than just one provider at coming up with new ways of doing things
· 65% agree a variety of different providers would be more successful than just one provider at reducing costs to the taxpayer
· 71% agree in relation to ensuring good customer service
· 70% agree in relation to improving services for the end user
“The Government must stop dragging its feet. A year on since its Open Public Services White Paper there have been some steps in the right direction, but progress remains inconsistent and slow moving," Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, said.
“The only way to maintain the delivery of services, while reducing spending on the scale the Government intends, is through significant reform. New ideas will only emerge if these services are opened up to alternative providers, such as businesses and charities.
“The potential benefits are clear and the public are supportive, so we need to see urgent action to open up public services to meet the needs of users, maintain quality and achieve the necessary budget cuts.”
Dr Peter Kyle, ACEVO Deputy Chief executive, said that "the third sector has a long history of providing tailored and people-centred support to those in greatest need and there is solid evidence that inclusion of the sector in the delivery of welfare services has driven up standards and increased user satisfaction.
“The latest CBI research builds on this understanding and underscores the necessity for us to put the needs of service users unequivocally at the heart of decision making in this time of social and economic upheaval.
“The Government has promised to deliver this but so far failed to deliver on a transformative scale and in an era when people are relying on support in increasing numbers there is no time to waste."
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