Opinion: A new dawn for public services – a hopeful vision under Labour

Investing in public services is more than just a budgetary choice; it’s a moral duty

Christina McAnea

By UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea

After 14 long years of Conservative rule that left our public services in a mess, the UK finally stands at the beginning of a new era.

The recent general election has put an end to a government marked by chaos, infighting, and cronyism. We can all breathe a sigh of relief as we say goodbye and good riddance to an era that has seen our essential public services so terribly mismanaged.

The Conservatives have left a legacy of underfunded and overstretched services. Our NHS is in crisis, social care is woefully inadequate, and local governments are barely coping with community needs.

Fixing these vital services will be a massive task, requiring significant investment and a serious effort to restore public trust in our political system.

Fortunately, with Keir Starmer’s Labour government now at the helm, there’s a beacon of hope. Labour’s resounding victory is a testament to our calls for real change and renewal. Starmer’s historic landslide win isn’t just a political triumph; it’s a clear mandate for a brighter future for all of us.

The priority for the new government must be clear: to invest in and revive our public services. This means ensuring NHS patients get the care they need promptly, building a social care system that supports everyone in need, and restoring local services so that local governments can effectively serve their communities.

These steps aren’t just about fixing services; they’re about reaffirming the social contract that holds us together as communities and as a nation.

Keir Starmer’s first speech as prime minister highlighted his dedication to this mission. Unlike many before him, Starmer isn’t a career politician; he’s a true public servant who understands the critical value of high-quality public services and the crucial role of the workers who deliver them.

His leadership brings a fresh perspective and a much-needed focus on the well-being of the many, not the few.

Investing in public services is more than just a budgetary choice; it’s a moral duty. High-quality public services are the foundation of a fair and just society. They drive economic growth, support the most vulnerable, and foster community spirit.

With Labour in charge, we have the chance to build a more equitable and prosperous future for everyone in the UK.

We won’t always agree with the new government. But UNISON is very clear about what our priorities are – for our members and for working people – and I will be doing everything I can to make sure they are the government’s priorities too.

The road ahead won’t be easy, and the work to repair the damage of the past decade and a half will be tough. But with a Labour government dedicated to public service and led by a prime minister who values integrity and dedication, there’s hope that we can rebuild a country where public services once again serve the people effectively and compassionately.

The dawn of a new era is upon us, and with it, the promise of a better, fairer Britain.