Public Sector contracts

Stephen Hepburn, MP for the Jarrow Constituency has heavily criticised the Conservative Government’s decision to continue to outsource public sector contracts.

During a question time session to the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Mr Hepburn said: “As Carillion showed, the outsourcing of Government contracts is nothing but a gamble with jobs and public money. When will the Tories put the public interest first instead of their friends, spivs and speculators?”

Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington MP said in response: 

“The private sector has a vital role to play in delivering public services and is something that this Government will continue to champion. Earlier this week, I announced new measures in the wake of the collapse of Carillion to promote and deepen responsible capitalism, whereby everyone plays by the same rules and businesses recognise their duties and obligations to wider society. That is in line with the Government’s commitment to deliver an economy that works for everyone.

“The collapse of Carillion has shown that outsourcing genuinely transfers risk from taxpayers to shareholders, directors and lenders—to the private sector company.”

In January, major outsourcing company Carillion collapsed and went into liquidation. Carillion was a major supplier to the public sector in the UK, delivering around 450 contracts with government across a range of areas. According to the House of Commons library, Carillion owed around £2 billion to its 30,000 suppliers, sub-contractors and other short-term creditors. Most of them risk getting little or nothing back from the liquidation.

Last week, major outsourcing firm Capita were awarded a £500 million contract to run the Ministry of Defence’s fire and rescue services. Despite awarding them the contract, a document from the MoD stated that Capita scored the highest risk rating, being a 10/10 for risk. The company issued a profit warning in January. 

Earlier this year, the Labour Party stated that they are developing policies to make public delivery of public services the preferred option. As well as bringing an end to the dogma of privatisation, which they believe has hollowed out the public realm and held back our economy and services.

Stephen Hepburn MP said:“Listening to the Minister’s response you’d think that everything was going brilliantly. 

“The truth is that the county isn’t working for everyone -only a privileged few. This is always the case when the Tories are in power.

“The Tories’ privatisation dogma risks lurching our public services from crisis to crisis, threatening jobs, taxpayers’ money and leaving people without the services they need. 

“The Government must end its ideological attachment to private profit in public services and instead start putting the public interest first. We cannot afford another Carillion.”

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Meet your MP

 Stephen-Hepburn-MP

Stephen Hepburn has served the Jarrow Constituency as MP since 1997.

He was last elected to serve in June 2017 and won the seat with a conclusive 17,263 majority.

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