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Date: 17 May 2005

Public service delivery is more efficient, not 'pointless'
- UNISON comment on Tom McCabe criticism

UNISONScotland, the public service union today pointed out that far from 'pointless' as the Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform said in his speech to the Infrastructure Investment in Scotland conference in Edinburgh, the debate over whether the public or private sector is best placed to deliver public services is the key to efficient public services.

Matt Smith, UNISON's Scottish Secretary, said 'We welcome the Executive's commitment to the provision of public services and their greatly increased expenditure. Investment in the infrastructure is significant to all of Scotland and we want to continue to work with Ministers to ensure the maximum return.

"However it is far from 'pointless' as the Minister says, to debate the most efficient method of delivering our public services. For example, last Friday, a research project commissioned by the Executive itself highlighted a number of problems with PPP projects, including: - lack of flexibility; cost of changes to services; problems caused because staff are employed by different bodies; needing to create large projects for financial viability and reducing levels of competition.

"The Executive requires to provide a level playing field to allow authorities to choose between public and private provision. Too often we are left with PPP as the only option. So long as that happens, the argument for more efficient public sector delivery will continue to be made."


For Further Information Please Contact: Matt Smith (Scottish Secretary) 0845 355 0845(o) 07771 548 997(m Chris Bartter (Communications Officer): 0870 7777006(o) 07715 583 729(m)