Social Services: A Safe Bet, A Good Little Earner

The Minister of Social Development is clearly gearing up for TISA, (trades in services agreement). She announced recently that she was considering opening up government-funded social services to profit-making businesses – in other words, multinational corporations. Corporates seeking guaranteed profits from government coffers instead of gambling on the share markets or currency trading.

The mantra is that private providers will be cheaper and more effective than the government’s own services and the local not-for-profit agencies that contract to the government. No specifics are given. Neoliberal economics is closer to a religious cult than a science. It operates on a core set of nonnegotiable beliefs, not facts.

It is deeply insulting to the public servants and those who work in the not-for-profit organizations that currently provide social services. The idea that they will all work harder and better if their primary purpose is to make a profit for the directors and shareholders is laughable. And it will be the same workers. These corporations don’t know how to provide the services. They just rehire staff from the existing providers to do the work, then reap the profits.

This is just another corporate coup, couched in language that makes the taxpayer think they are getting a bargain. The corporates are taking us to the cleaners – once again.

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