Taylor to head inquiry into public-private ventures

A NEW commission on the future of public-private partnerships will be launched today, headed by Martin Taylor, the former chief executive of Barclays Bank.

It will be the third significant commission of inquiry run by the Institute for Public Policy Research, the left-leaning think tank. The two previous ones, the social justice commission and commission on British business, played an important role in shaping government policy.

The task of the new inquiry is ambitious: to spell out the future funding and provision of public services. It will seek to fill the vacuum left by earlier policies, both old Labour nationalisation and Tory privatisation.

Mr Taylor said: "Despite significant changes in the public and private sectors, there still remains widespread misunderstanding and mutual suspicion between them." The public sector was still widely seen as inefficient, he said, yet on the other hand many Labour supporters had a "visceral" dislike of the private sector.

The initiative comes amid growing controversy about the public finance initiative.

PFI projects are proving to be politically fraught and some, such as the future of the London Underground ahead of the mayoral election, could spill over into electoral results.

The PFI is due to bring in pounds 3.8bn of private capital this financial year, while estimated government payments under the PFI will be pounds 1.5bn, rising to pounds 3.6bn in five years' time. In July the government also announced the creation of a new private sector-led body, Partnerships UK, to improve public-private partnership. This followed an assessment of the PFI by as taskforce led by Sir Malcolm Bates, chairman of Pearl.

Mr Taylor said: "Whereas privatisation was based on a simple concept that was easily explainable both to the policy community and the electorate, public-private partnerships tend to be confusing and come in all shapes and sizes."

The commission will look at which services should continue to be provided by the public sector rather than the private, but also at whether private finance provides good value for money.

One of the frequent criticisms of complex private finance deals is that they end up costing the taxpayer far more than the public sector provision they replace. However, public sector projects also often overrun on costs but have been less open to scrutiny.

Alan Milburn, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, will launch the initiative this afternoon. The government will not necessarily accept its findings, but will find them hard to ignore.

Mr Taylor was also head of the Government's tax and benefit taskforce, whose reports helped shape key policies such as national insurance reform and the new Working Families Tax Credit.

The 15 members include representatives from business, unions, the public and voluntary sector and academics. The final report will be published in early 2001.

News
people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
Voices
voicesBy the man who has
Sport
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?