What right has private capital to take preference over public capital?

I’ve just been listening to a debate, or rather an argument, on the North-West section of the BBC Politics Show, between Council leaders of Liverpool and Southampton.

The main complaint from Southampton, in the face of proposed competition for their monopoly on Transatlantic Cruise Ships, seems to be that this would be unfair competition, because Liverpool’s  facilities will be financed by Public money.

Councils and other Public bodies are being pressed by past and present Governments and by the Finance Industry to take on aspects of the private sector and accept accountability for investing their resources.

In Liverpool’s case, the use of public money to create a facility that will bring investment and employment to the whole North-West region, seems a better option than that taken by those Councils, which, on Labour Government advice, deposited their cash in the Bank of Iceland.

I can not see the logic of saying that the use of public capital to compete with private capital is unfair competition. Providing The Council exercises  due care and is not permitted to over-commit  tax-payers cash, then the only differences lie in the question of who will benefit from the venture and who collects any profits.


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