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Unions in push for local authorities to retake control of services

Public Service Unions “have launched a campaign to boost the powers of local government and to bring privatised services back under the control of local authorities.” The “More Power to You” campaign by Fórsa, SIPTU and Connect “will run ahead of the local elections in May and will urge the public and politicians to sign up to a pledge backing measures including directly-elected mayors, and bringing previously privatised services back under the remit of the public service. Addressing the launch, Dr. Mary Murphy of NUI Maynooth presented a report saying that ‘four dead hands’ had strangled the capacity of local authorities—including privatisation of functions like housing and waste, centralisation by central government, increasing executive control in councils, and austerity.”

Source: RTE.ie

A housing nightmare shines a light on lax regulation of building practices

A housing nightmare shines a light on lax regulation of building practices. “The Builders Collective's Mr. Dwyer says the authority's lack of action was typical. ‘Combined with privatisation of building surveyors, regulators in this industry do everything they can to avoid regulating. And yet these same bureaucrats keep informing the minister of the day that everything is OK,’ he said.”

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

More than two decades after military housing was privatized, and the results are in

More than two decades after military housing was privatized, and the results are in. “’This is disgusting:’ Lawmakers blast companies overseeing military homes racked by toxic dangers.” By now 99% of housing is privately-run, “widening the accountability gap between families and commanders. Corvias, which stands to make $1 billion, said it was ‘sorry’ the way the privatization model eroded quality for profits.”

Source: Twitter

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Diversifying Public Ownership. Constructing Institutions for Participation, Social Empowerment and Democratic Control (by Andrew Cumbers)

This paper advocates a form of economic democracy based around diverse forms of public ownership. It does not prioritize one particular scale but recognizes the importance of decentralized forms of public ownership, to encourage greater public participation and engagement, mixed with higher level state ownership, for strategic sectors and planning for key public policy goals (e.g. tackling climate change). It takes a deliberately pluralistic definition of public ownership, recognizing both state ownership and the role that cooperatives and employee ownership could play in a more democratic economy.