Jeremy Corbyn’s economic plans will cost households £6,000, says Tory | Politics | News

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Cabinet minister David Lidington hit out at the hard-left Labour Party leader for vowing to stop public services being outsourced to private firms.

He warned that Mr Corbyn could take Britain back to the “dark days of the 1970s”, when some pubs, hotels and golf courses were run by the state.

Mr Lidington said the cost of Labour’s plans would be sky-high – costing around £176 billion, which is more than £6,000 per UK household.

The de-facto deputy Prime Minister said: “You can have both good and bad in both the private and the public sectors.

“What matters is that the service works for people who use it, while at the same time providing value-for-money for the taxpayers.

“Outsourcing means services can be provided more efficiently, at lower cost and at better value for the taxpayer.

“And open and fair competition within free markets encourages creativity and innovation.”

Speaking at the Reform think-tank in London, the top Tory then launched a thinly veiled attack on Jeremy Corbyn.

He accused “critics of outsourcing” of wanting to “bring virtual every private sector contract back under state control”.

Mr Lidington added: “It would amount to the biggest wave of re-nationalisation since the dark days of the 1970s.

“There would be no care for how members of the public would be instantly disrupted overnight.

“There would be no thought whatsoever how it would be paid for.

“A cautious estimate puts it at some £176 billion – the equivalent of 10 per cent of our national debt, or over £6,000 per household.”

After the collapse of construction giant Carillion earlier this year, Mr Corbyn pledged to scrap nearly all outsourcing in the UK.

He said: “We will rewrite the rules to give the public back control of their services. 

“If these are public contracts, we should be the manager and not have a middleman like Carillion creaming off the profits.”

But Mr Lidington said the example of Carillion must not be used to make the case for mass re-nationalisation.

He added: “For too long, businesses have not trusted the government to look beyond pure cost, or to apportion blame fairly when things go wrong.

“As a result, the public has understandably begun to question whether private sector involvement in public services is working for them.

“And therefore I see it as the duty of both government and industry alike to restore, repair and rebuild that trust between us.”

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