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Audit commission chief warns Lib Dems

Audit Commission chief executive Steve Bundred has warned that increased choice in health, education and other public services could force taxes up.

20 Sep 2004

By our Parliamentary Correspondent

Link: Audit Commission blamed in Victoria Climbie case

He told a fringe meeting at the Liberal Democrat Conference in Bournemouth that few people could disagree with the idea of users of public services having the choice of how they wanted them delivered.

But Bundred said there was a cost to delivering choice which might need over capacity to enable people to exercise that right.

He added that there was a problem of reconciling choice with value for money. 'Increasing choice in public services might need taxes to rise,' warned Bundred.

And he said that an Audit Commission opinion survey showed that while people favoured choice in public services as an idea they were much less keen if they had to pay for it through increased taxes.

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