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Poll shows most British people want public services from transport to Royal Mail returned to public hands

AN OVERWHELMING majority of the British public want taxes to be spent on public services, a poll revealed today.

Eighty-two per cent of respondents said that healthcare and education should be run in the public rather than private sector, according to a new study by campaign group We Own It.

On the subject of public transport, 73 per cent said it should be nationalised, while 69 per cent said Royal Mail should be renationalised after it was fully privatised five years ago.

Sixty-three per cent of respondents said that utilities should not be run by private companies, the poll found.

When asked why people think these services should mostly be run in the public sector, the most commonly chosen response was: “Extra funds should go back into the services, rather than to shareholders.”

The second most chosen was: “I think privately owned companies prioritise profitable areas over providing a good service to everyone.”

About a third of all respondents believed that publicly owned services were more accountable, that taxpayers end up paying for failures of privatised services and that services should not be run for profit.

We Own It director Cat Hobbs said: “This polling once again shows that the overwhelming majority of people support public ownership of our public services.

“And it shows us that the public are fed up with being ripped off by private companies siphoning cash to shareholders rather than investing in our services.

“After 40 years of ideological marriage to privatisation, it’s clear that the public just aren’t buying it anymore.

“People recognise that this is about fairness and [...] morality. It’s not a fair system that gives us inadequate, unaccountable services. It’s not a fair system that gives us skyrocketing fares and bills. And it’s not a fair system that gives us a cabal of shareholders and CEOs who are creaming off the profits.

“People want a change. People want public services that are fit for the 21st century. To get that, we have to end the scam of privatisation once and for all.”

The results of the poll came after the TUC urged the government to make the 2020s a “decade of renewal” in this week’s Budget to repair damage from the past “decade of devastation.”

The union organisation called for a major increase in public investment in infrastructure, better quality jobs and fresh plans for social care.


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