In theory (and I stress the word theory) the endeavour to establish a market price for the supply and maintenance of the national map will help to ensure that the public sector achieves best value from its expenditure. With the private sector snapping at OS heels there will be some limited pressure on pricing although I recognise that scale prevents any serious competition at the moment. Perhaps some company will decide to take OS on head to head, then we might see an interesting tussle – but no free data.
As Pete commented the concept of treasury funding to OS took a bit of a bashing with the withdrawal of the NIMSA. I cannot see how anyone who cares about the quality and currency of the national map could advocate placing the whole lot at the whim of a treasury mandarin in a budget crisis.
Are we talking our way into a sell off? Would that matter?