Today the Adam Smith Institute releases a new report, Privatization Revisited, which calls on the government to undertake a radical new programme of privatization. There are still many attractive commercial operations in the public sector that should be privatized – for instance, Channel 4, BBC Worldwide, Scottish Water, Network Rail and many other firms. The report also calls for the government’s shares in RBS and Lloyd’s TSB to be sold off gradually over the term of the current government. Together, these privatizations would raise up to £90billion over a period of several years (see the table below).
The report argues that many benefits would accrue if its proposals were implemented in full – particularly in terms of operational efficiencies. The major privatization wave under the Thatcher government opened up much of Britain’s industry to competition and helped the British economic miracle of the 1980s. In times like this, a return to this approach is required to rejuvenate parts of the British economy.
Britain’s national debt is approaching one trillion pounds and interest repayments are nearly £120 million every day. With this report, the government now has an instruction manual in how to begin paying down this debt and simultaneously jumpstarting the flagging British economy.