Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

ACCC boss says privatisation doesn’t work

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairperson Rod Sims recently said that he now opposes the privatisation of public ports and electricity infrastructure.

In a startling admission, Sims said that the privatisation of public assets had led to huge price rises for consumers. He added that privatisation had hurt productivity and damaged the economy.

Turning the provision of government services over to capitalist rent seekers was always a faulty ideology promulgated by disingenuous politicians and naive economists. In essence, advocates of privatisation argue that the private for-profit sector does things better than the public sector.

The experience of workers and consumers tells a different story. Rich capitalists have clearly used privatisation to profit at our expense. Witness the long list of privatisation disasters: the great private childcare collapse, the exploitation of foreign students in the TAFE sector, the replacement of the CES with profit-driven ‘employment service providers’, the abuse of the elderly in aged care… the list goes on.

The privatisation of public assets is not in the interests of the majority of people. We need to return to publicly owned services and infrastructure, but under the democratic control of workers and the community.

By Mike Naismith