Support for taking services back into public ownership

Considerable support for renationalisation of public services – such as public transport, utilities and the Royal Mail.

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We are very close to some very dramatic ways in which the state is expected to provide:

Universal Basic Income

Universal Basic Services

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We now have the Universal Service Obligation:

Your right to request a decent broadband service: What you need to know | ofcom.org.uk

Which is being especially welcomed in these trying times:

Universal right to broadband as Coronavirus forces more homeworking | firstvoice.fsb.org.uk

Small businesses welcome universal right to broadband as Coronavirus forces more homeworking | firstvoice.fsb.org.uk

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Of course, there’s quite a jump from guaranteeing the universal provision of some service or other – to the state actually owning all these services.

But in the current climate, people are prepared for the state to step in – for example:

The railways have been nationalised – and there’s no turning back | telegraph.co.uk

And it could go even further:

Coronavirus: UK could nationalise airlines, railways and bus service during pandemic I independent.co.uk

Could coronavirus finally lead to nationalisation across British businesses? | independent.co.uk

And it’s happening in East Devon too:

Government in talks over state takeover of Flybe – report | cityam.com

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Earlier last month, before things really got going, the public mood was already swinging behind more state control:

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End privatisation to help ‘left behind’ areas of Britain, voters say

Study reveals reasons why voters support taking services back into public ownership

Voters believe that privatisation of public services has deepened regional inequality and “left behind” parts of Britain in the name of profit, new research has found. Polling conducted by Survation asked members of the public why they supported the renationalisation of public services such as public transport, utilities and the Royal Mail.

The most popular reason given by supporters of public ownership was that extra funds should go back into services rather than to shareholders, with 41 per cent citing this as the reason for their support. A roughly equal number, 40 per cent, also said they believe that “privately owned companies prioritise profitable areas over providing a good service to everyone”…

The availability of reliable internet access in rural areas also became a political issue at last year’s election after Labour pledged to take the UK’s broadband infrastructure provider Openreach into public ownership to achieve it. Britain’s internet companies have been accused of under-serving less profitable areas and admitted they would not be able to reach universal coverage without state support.

Royal Mail has also warned rural deliveries are under threat because private competitors “cherry pick” profitable parts of the country while it is lumbered with a universal service obligation imposed when it was privatised…

The research found that 73 per cent of voters want public transport run in the public sector, compared to just 19 per cent in the private; 63 per cent supported utilities being public compared to 26 per cent private; 69 per cent wanted Royal Mail in public hands compared to 21 per cent private. The level of support in the survey is similar to previous polling on the issue…

End privatisation to help ‘left behind’ areas of Britain, voters say | independent.co.uk

Image: British Rail IC 125 High Speed Train (Postcard) | I traveled… | Flickr

   
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