Simpson, David (1984) Privatisation. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 9 (3). pp. 82-85. ISSN 0306-7866

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With the appointment of a new Secretary of State for Trade and Industry the government have announced that they intend to proceed "briskly" with a programme of privatisation. This word has many different meanings, but it broadly corresponds to what twenty years ago would have been called denationalisation. In pursuit of this programme, the government have already sold off their majority shareholdings in Amersham, Britoil, Cable & Wireless, and Associated British Ports. The timetable for the disposal of other major public enterprises has been established. This briefing paper considers the rationale behind privatisation and proposes an alternative liberalisation strategy instead.