Social Impact Investing - Just More Privatisation

  • 27 February 2017

The Federal government through Treasury have released a discussion paper on 'Social Impact Investing'.  CPSU has prepared a submission in response to this new form of privatisation as the primary union covering public sector workers in the Commonwealth, State, and Territory governments. The Social impact investing discussion paper uses ‘social investing’ as an umbrella term to include social enterprises, social impact bonds, and social impact investment funds.  CPSU is opposed to the use of Social impact investing models because they are risky and there is no convincing evidence that they work.  The existing examples from Canada, U.K. and New Zealand have failed spectaculalry and have only seen scarce public resources wasted or transferred to privateers despite outcomes failing.  Social impact financing models are a complex venture capitalist model applied to the provision of public services that relies on the profit motive to get private investors to fund the service delivery in order for governments to pay a profit.  Proponents of these models shy away strongly when asked why they don't suggest these principles apply to the existing provison of public services by in-house employees. At their core, social impact investing models are a government bet tethered to the private advancement of public responsibilities.  CPSU recommends that the Australian government not have any role in the social investment market. Instead, the Australian government must invest to promote innovation in the public sector rather than simply creating a way for venture capitalists to make a quick buck.

Privatisation of Public Services by any name.