Carillion and the dangers of selling the State to the lowest bidder | Autonomy Scotland

Carillion and the dangers of selling the State to the lowest bidder

I’ve been listening to the, Not Another Fake Newscast, of late.

It is a podcast presented by a couple of Glaswegians in a down to earth style. They make topics accessible but they do a lot of research and go into great detail on the subjects they choose.

Their latest episode is about Carillion going into administration. I have always been wary of these companies who only seem to specialise in tendering for government contracts regardless of what that contract happens to be for. It seems to me to be a recipe for disaster to create a system that incentivises companies, who often have no expertise in what they are bidding for, to compete to undercut each other.

The podcast is quite damning.

The main takeaway is that at some point the UK Government decided that our interests would be best served by public contracts being sold off to the cheapest private sector bidder. This has led to bad value for the tax-payer, widespread corruption, poorer services and declining working conditions for those actually doing the job. The practice was started in the supposed belief that free-market capitalism provided the best value for running public services, but the minute that things go wrong, the people running these companies come begging for handouts and the public picks up the cost. The bosses of these companies run them into the ground and walk away with massive pay packets while the workers are left in the lurch in terms of their future prospects and pensions.

Enjoy the show below or get it via your normal podcast player.

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