UK Politics

Conservative Party: Power to public sector workers

News   •   Feb 16, 2010 09:35 GMT

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans to give public sector workers the right to form employee owned co-operatives to take over the services they deliver.

This will empower millions of public sector workers to become their own boss and help them to deliver better services.

"Today we are setting out our plans to give power to public sector workers who are fed up with Gordon Brown's top-down control of their working lives", he said. "This is the biggest shift of power from government to people since the right to buy your council house in the 1980s".

The new right to form employee owned co-operatives will apply throughout the vast majority of the public sector – including JobCentre Plus offices, community nursing teams and primary schools.

Employee owned co-operatives will continue to be funded by the state so long as they meet national standards, but will be freed from centralised bureaucracy and political micromanagement.

They will be not-for-profit organisations - any financial surpluses will be reinvested into the service and the staff who work there, rather than distributed to external shareholders.

"Just as we are winning the argument on the economy and how to deal with the country's debts, the Conservatives now offer the best hope for users of public services and the people who work in them", Osborne added.