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Daniela Gabor and Ndongo Samba Sylla, in article published by the Groupe d'études géopolitiques take close look at how "paradoxically, the Macron Doctrine - built on a critique of financialisation and privatisation of public goods – co-exists with the French push for the Wall Street Consensus, which promotes a partnership with global investors to financialise development and privatise public goods, particularly in Africa."
Source: Groupe d'Etudes Géopolitiques
The Jagnyachya Hakkache Aandolan (JHA), a network of trade unions and social activists, has released a People's Manifesto and asked opposition parties to include their positions in their platforms. “The issues in this manifesto include curtailing widespread privatisation, giving remunerative rates to farmers for their produce, increasing the minimum wages of workers, thrust on public transport, health and education.” [Hindustan Times, 7 March 2019]
Unmasking the Hidden Power of Cities. Using their authorities, energy and promise to secure the common good.
The Partnership for Working Families, which recently co-authored a new report on the unique power of cities to make progressive change, has launched “We Make This City,” a 10-city national campaign “for community-controlled, publicly owned institutions, structures, and services. We are fighting to ensure all people have access to the systems and structures needed to live full and healthy lives. This includes transportation systems that connect us to work, schools and services, the ability to afford housing in the communities we love, access to clean water and energy and organized power for workers who make all this possible. Public infrastructure connects us all and should serve the needs of the people, not the pockets of corporations. (…) As we struggle to meet our people’s basic needs, corporate interests tell us that they are actually the solution to our problem. Private entities are taking over our roads, our water and our schools — the building blocks of our cities — to create more profit for themselves. It isn’t working for us. The rich are getting richer and our people are suffering.”
A new paper by Dr Helen Mercer and Professor Dexter Whitfield "Nationalising Special Purpose Vehicles to end PFI: A discussion of the costs and benefits" provides an initial set of costings relating to the proposal to end PFIs in the UK through nationalising the Special Purpose Vehicles. The article uses book value to estimate that the cost of compensating the shareholders of the SPVs on HM Treasury database would be between £2.3bn and £2.5bn. It further analyses the potential savings to public authorities. The article proposes that service contracts are renegotiated so that the public authorities contract directly with the providers, not via the SPV. This secures significant annual savings from the elimination of operating profits, of £1.4bn, indicating that nationalisation will pay for itself within two years. Further the article proposes to honour all outstanding liabilities but to secure substantial refinancing through a new body in which ownership of the SPVs will be vested. Finally, the article suggests that as service contracts are ended, either through break clauses or other reasons, the public authorities must bring provision ‘in-house’, ending outsourcing and also providing further savings from more rational and integrated provision. The approach has been developed on the basis of significant research into how PFIs operate and consideration of the range of alternative solutions to the PFI problem that have been put forward so far. These issues are also explained and developed in the article.
The Covid-19 crisis has made it clear that we need urgent investments in public transport to deliver safe, reliable and affordable services for the millions of residents living in our cities. You’re invited to join the movement of workers, mayors, union leaders and city residents around the world – let’s take action together to protect livelihoods, create good jobs, and confront the climate crisis.