Last weekend, news broke of the collapse of Carillion and throughout the week it has dominated the news as more and more of this sorry saga unravelled.
But what was deeply concerning was the Government’s failure to recognise the warning signs in front of them.
For the last six months, alarm bells have been ringing about Carillion, who over that short period issued three profit warnings.
Despite these warnings, the Government granted three separate contracts to Carillion, worth nearly £2billion of tax payers’ money, believing that it would make this growing situation go away.
But the Government’s gamble has not paid off, and now it is the nearly 20,000-strong Carillion workforce who will bear the brunt of this Government’s recklessness, with jobs, pensions and ongoing public sector projects that are now in jeopardy.
It is crucial that jobs and pensions are protected and that shareholders and creditors do not walk away with the rewards from profitable contracts whilst the taxpayer is left to foot the bill for loss-making parts of this business.
The Government’s failure to exercise due diligence on Carillion has put services paid for and relied upon by taxpayers such as schools, prisons and hospitals at serious risk.
It is important that the Government works to ensure that these services can continue to be provided at the high standard taxpayers rightly expect.
It is now time for the Government to accept some responsibility on this matter and recognise the need to bring public sector contracts back in-house to protect public services and serve the public rather than private profit.
The Carillion workforce deserve assurances on the status of their jobs, wages and pensions, and the UK electorate deserve a Labour administration that cares about them and not private profits.