UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says privatisation on the table for Swansea’s DVLA after ‘unnecessary strikes’
The Government will do “whatever it takes” including possible privatisation to improve the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.
The threat of privatisation after what he called “unnecessary strikes” at the DVLA comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson threatened to “privatise the arse off” the DVLA and other public bodies unless they start delivering better services
The DVLA is one of the largest employers in Wales, with over 5,000 staff in Swansea. Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which represents workers at the DVLA’s offices in Swansea conducted a series of strikes as part of a campaign for more coronavirus safety measures.
Grant Shapps made the comment amid huge delays in processing driving licence applications. The Cabinet minister told the Commons’ Transport Select Committee he and Prime Minister will “look at everything”.
He said: “We’ll look at whether we can bring in private services to assist. I’ll look at the different motoring organisations.
“We have DVLA and DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency). It’s very confusing for most people.
“One does the licensing, the other one does the testing. People ask why there are two organisations.
“I’ll look at all of these things. No stone will be left unturned.”
One Whitehall source told the Telegraph newspaper over the weekend that there had been a “total failure” by the DVLA “to provide the public service it is meant to”.
Speaking today, Grant Shapps said the backlog of driving licence applications has been cut from a peak of 1.2 million to 400,000 due to a series of measures.
He added that the delays “wouldn’t be there at all if it hadn’t been for an entirely unnecessary strike at DVLA”.
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