Tories like Blair delivery policy more than Labour

Nathalie Thomas

More Conservative MPs agree with the Government's line on charities delivering public services than Labour MPs, according to research by nfpSynergy.

The think tank asked 150 MPs from the three major political parties if they agreed with the Government's official view that, in many areas of public service delivery, the voluntary sector "has the potential for better focus, better reach and better outcomes than the state".

Only 15 per cent of Labour MPs polled concurred with their party's line, compared with 71 per cent of Tory MPs. Ten per cent of Lib Dems agreed.

The poll also revealed that the House of Lords is more in favour of third sector involvement in public services than the Commons. Of the 100 peers polled, nearly two-thirds thought charities are able to do a better job than the statutory sector, compared with one-third of MPs.

Tory peers again showed themselves to be more in tune with the Government's outlook on the sector, with 96 per cent agreeing that charities could probably deliver services more efficiently than the state. Forty per cent of Lib Dem peers thought the same, followed by 36 per cent of Labour peers.

Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Acevo, who has been leading a campaign on public service delivery, said the results did not reflect Acevo's experiences.

"I would have thought the Labour figures would have been much higher," he said. Bubb added that the figures could be explained by sensitivities in the public sector. "I think there's a lot of confusion, partly stirred up by the unions, between third sector service delivery and privatisation," he said.

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