Thursday July 9, 2020

Comment: Small government has been a big failure in this pandemic

The performance of Britain and the US - where privatisation and outsourcing has become the norm - is in stark contrast to the success of nations like New Zealand and South Korea

25th May, 2020
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meeting Boris Johnson, her British counterpart, at a UN meeting last year. Ardern‘s handling of the Covid-19 crisis is partly due to her government’s “spirit of service” approach to maintaining public services. Picture: PA

Decades of privatisation, outsourcing and budget cuts in the name of “efficiency” have significantly hampered many governments’ responses to the Covid-19 crisis.

At the same time, successful responses by other governments have shown that investments in core public sector capabilities make all the difference in times of emergency.

The countries that have handled the crisis well are those where the state maintains a productive relationship with value creators in society, by investing...

Subscribe from just €1 for the first month!

Exclusive offers:

All Digital Access + eReader



Unlimited Access for 1 Month

Then €19.99 a month after the offer period.

Get basic
*New subscribers only
You can cancel any time.



€149 For the 1st Year

Unlimited Access for 1 Year

You can cancel any time.




90 Day Pass

You can cancel any time.

Team Pass

Get a Business Account for you and your team

Related Stories

The move away from peat is the first test of Ireland’s commitment to the just transition process, and we must get it right to ensure communities in the midlands are not left behind

Frances Fitzgerald | 1 day ago

Many classic short-term indicators suggest that the economic outlook need not be as bleak as many believe

Jim O'Neill | 1 day ago

Angela Merkel’s so-called corona presidency will likely be good for Ireland but Micheál Martin must ensure that we get a fair share of the recovery fund

Barry Andrews | 2 days ago