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Beyond Beveridge: Principles for 2020 Public Services

Publication: March 2010
Beyond Beveridge: Principles for 2020 Public Services

'Beyond Beveridge' is the interim report of the Commission on 2020 Public Services. It sets out the urgency for change, the limits of our current public services settlement, and the need for a systematic and long-term approach to reform. The report offers a positive vision for 2020 public services, and three policy building blocks to get us there: a shift in culture, a shift in power, and a shift in finance. The report represents the interim findings of our diverse and experienced commission, and the principles on which it will base its final conclusions in summer 2010.


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Comments 1 to 4 of 4
Posted by Bob Phillips (Surbiton)
16 March 2010, 9:55:08 AM
"We cannot just go on doing the same things with less money ... a narrow and limited set of choices – cut now or cut later." Absolutely right. At the end of a desperate recession in which we have fared worse than most countries, relatively speaking, we must now face reality. We are a small island in the corner of Europe. It is senseless for us to pretend we are a world power - we cannot afford to be and we look increasingly silly trying to be. We should leave the UN Security Council to the bigger powers, abandon any pretence to be a world military power (one that can't even protect our Land Rovers), forget about nuclear weapons, cut back on diplomatic pretensions, focus our limited resources on looking after our own people. If we make all these far-reaching but timely changes, we may find that we can afford allll we need for the last item, and your report will help us. If we refuse to make all these changes out of a nostalgia for influence that our leaders are addicted to, then your report is unlikely to have much effect. And we can still have influence. Another little country on the corner of Europe does - Sweden. Like them we should make a virtue of the reputation we have - in our case, for fairness and reason - and not pretend to the influence we have not.
Posted by Dan (Sheffield)
16 March 2010, 2:22:34 PM
I agree entirely with the earlier comment. However,if plans such as those outlined in the report are to be succesful, there needs to be an appreciation of the realtive disengagement from civic life that prevails in most of our communities. We cannot just offer people power and decision making, we need to actively engage them with structures and methods that suit their specific characteristics and locality. This is specialised work, and needs to be done in every area, not left as afterthought to a general national plan of decentralisation.
Posted by bob colenutt (oxford)
17 March 2010, 8:42:29 PM
I totally agree with Bob Phillips; the real scandalous waste of resources is on the UK's bloated military role not on the NHS or other public services. Can I add that it must not be forgotten that the bail out of the financial sector is the cause of the current crisis in public finances. The least the finance sector can do to agree the Tobin Tax to repay that public generosity, but of course they wont because tragically there is no morality or social conscience there.
Can I add that it is naive to think that the short fall can be made up by civic engagement and the mobilisation of the third sector (important as they are). They cannot deliver capital investment in public infrastructure and services in a universal or consistent way to ensure quality. We need both central funding and full public participaton to deliver quality services. It is not either or.
Posted by Angus Bearn (London)
19 March 2010, 6:07:35 PM
Yes, but... SOME of us might like the idea, as a nation, of still punching above our weight in the world. We want to shoot all those Al Khaida baddies, no? Gotta have a bit of muscle for that. Rely on the United Nations? What were the French and Russians up to in Iraq? Think of the glory of the moon landings... the Olympics... Wembley. (Sighs.) And all us Brits are too fat, anyway, we don't need any more spent domestically.


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