In the last few years, the privatization industry has put a lot of effort into coming up with new ways to privatize public services.
These new methods of privatization have dramatically expanded the number of public services threatened by privatization. They are also being used to repackage older, discredited privatization schemes.
The updates to the report, New Forms of Privatization, published by the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), provide information on emerging threats to public services. But while privatization schemes may be changing, the motivation has not.
“Privatization is still about helping wealthy corporations or individuals make a profit at the public’s expense”, said Larry Brown, NUPGE President.
One of the updates to the report is that a growing number of auditor generals are reporting that figures are being manipulated to make P3 privatization schemes appear cheaper than public procurement. Without these shell games, P3s are more expensive. In Ontario, the auditor general found using P3 privatization schemes for 74 projects increased costs by $8 billion.
“The findings of auditors general in 5 provinces suggest reports claiming P3 privatization schemes save money cannot be trusted,” said Brown.
A growing trend with new forms of privatization is to avoid using the work “privatization.” The privatization industry knows that people are increasingly aware of the poorer service and higher cost that come with privatization.
Instead, the privatization industry is busy coming up with euphemisms for privatization. In Ontario, for example, privatization of electricity distribution was described as “asset recycling” or “broadening the ownership.”