Did ‘body parts stockpile’ firm come unstuck because of an unrealistically-low bid for the contract?

Fellow left media site Skwawkbox has uncovered a new aspect of the ‘body parts stockpile’ scandal – that private firm Healthcare Environmental Services’ bid for the contract was unrealistically low. It would be easy to lay all the blame for the current situation on the company – but if it is a money problem, it really is just another symptom of the Conservative government’s mania for providing public services on the cheap, no matter how bad the service then turns out to be. Private companies make their bids artificially low – because…

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Lack of investment means waste firm with NHS contract has been stockpiling human body parts

Lack of investment in the UK’s capacity for high-temperature incineration has created a ghoulish stockpile of human body parts awaiting proper disposal. The company with the contract (of course, it had to be an issue with outsourcing to private contractors) to dispose of National Health Service waste including amputated limbs, infectious liquids and cytotoxic waste connected with cancer treatments is Healthcare Environmental Services Ltd. And it is pleading innocence. For once, the contractor is not to blame, it seems. The evidence is that the UK’s ability to incinerate this dangerous…

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Why are poor taxpayers being told to subsidise Carillion’s contractors?

It must be lovely, being an executive or shareholder at a big corporation like Carillion – knowing that you can siphon off as much cash as you want and when your firm goes under, the poor will bail you out. Hundreds of millions of pounds went into executive/shareholder bank accounts in the years when Carillion was under-bidding for government contracts. That was public money; it should have been used to provide services, not bolster some businessman’s bank balance. And now public money is being used to underwrite loans to the…

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Carillion protected bosses’ bonuses before running into financial crisis

What an astonishing coincidence! And what an amazing stroke of luck that these executive bonuses were protected months before anyone had any idea that Carillion would get into financial trouble. Isn’t it? Now, instead of having to fund the hole in its finances from its own resources, Carillion and its lenders are expecting us – you and me – to subsidise its failures. Here’s Martin Shovel to explain, better than This Writer managed in my previous article: My cartoon – #Carillion, the company that runs privatised Britain is on the…

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Where are the sanctions for employers failing to offer additional hours?

It’s a valid question. More than a year ago, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith told us “In work conditionality” within the Universal Credit system could encourage part-time workers and the low-paid to seek additional hours. But it seems nothing is being done to “encourage” employers to provide the extra work. So what, exactly, did Duncan Smith think he was playing at? It seems we may soon find out, because Disability Studies specialist and disability activist Samuel Miller has written to the Secretary-in-a-State and his employment minister, Priti Patel,…

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Coalition is warned off ‘quasi-monopoly’ firms

The government should be less reliant on a handful of “quasi-monopoly” private sector contractors like Serco and G4S in future, if it has any sense – according to the Commons’ Public Accounts Committee. Isn’t it a shame that we already know the Coalition Government doesn’t have any sense – the committee’s report said as much when it criticised government departments for continuing to hand work over to the named companies while they were being investigated for overcharging. We can bank on the Coalition awarding further contracts to these big firms, too. The…

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The great wage con is keeping you poor

Is anyone else sick of employers bleating that the minimum wage is hindering their business? They must think we’re all stupid. A few of them were on the BBC’s Any Answers on Saturday, saying the minimum wage keeps pay down, and that people can’t afford to go to work – especially if they live in London – because their housing costs are paid by benefits. This is nonsense. The minimum wage is exactly what it claims to be – a minimum. And if people aren’t getting up to work for…

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