A Modest Proposal to Improve the Quality of Public Services

Because those who provide or control Public Services make but infrequent Use of the same Services, and have but little Awareness of how well (or poorly) they operate in practice, the Quality and Value of the Services is esteemed of much less Importance than their Cost.

I have a modest Proposal, to which I am sure there cannot be the least Objection.

I propose that the Ministers in Charge of Government Departments be compelled to use the Services provided by their particular Departments: thus the Minister for Health should rely exclusively on the National Health Service, without the Support of Private Health Insurance. The Minister for Transport should have no Official Car, but should travel upon the Trains, Omnibuses and the Underground Tube (Taxicabs, being a form of Private Transport, would be forbidden). The Minister for Education should send his Children to a local State Comprehensive School. Perhaps the Minister for Benefits and Pensions should also live for a Time on the Benefits paid to those seeking Employment. Then those who control the services would feel more acutely their Shortcomings, and the necessary Improvements would surely follow.