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Finance Friday | devaluing people

A few years ago, the refuse collection service where I live was put out to tender. One of those big ‘outsourcing’ companies won the 300 million pound contract. They now collect refuse, a wheelie bin for recycling, a bin for garden waste in summer, a bin for a kitchen waste and a bin that is supposed to be kept in the kitchen for waste too. The staff got a pay cut when it was all reorganised and that wasn’t the only council service to be outsourced.

It all looks so much more efficient and they say over the length of the 30 year contract, the council will save money. I think the refuse collectors have been devalued and have less pride in their work. This happens in other areas too. Security at the Olympics was outsourced, the running of prisons, car parks, assessing benefit claimants and many other local and national government services. I read that the total value of these contracts will be worth 100 billion pounds in a few years time. They’re not doing it out of the kindness of their hearts then. No, the likes of Serco, G4S and Atos Healthcare are out to make a profit. The outsourcing companies are running hospitals, healthcare, caring in the community, prisons, police services, old folks homes and child care. Everywhere there are vulnerable people who need care and support and where you find them; you find the outsourcing companies. They appear to circle like vultures around he weak and needy. I’m surprised they’re not running homeless hostels and food banks. Maybe they are…

The problem is when they pay minimum wages, their employees, apart from losing a lot of self respect, also don’t have enough money to live and support their families. They have to claim tax credits, housing benefit, council tax benefit and in some cases disabled living allowance. Is it any surprise that the cost of these benefits spiralled out of control as  the government gave benefits to people to support the activities of these outsourcing companies. The more local and national government outsources, the worse the problem gets and so the government responds by cutting benefits. Even people with a spare bedroom now will have their housing benefit cut.

You find your gran or some other elderly relative is in hospital or a care home and needs their welfare to be sensitively administered to by a caring nurse or care worker and you find that budgets and profits are more important than people’s needs. One day the Prime Minister throws his arms up in disgust at the culture of profits and budget restraints that led to old people suffering and dying at Stafford General Hospital. The next day he makes excuses for the so called bedroom tax, describing it as ‘fair’. People will have to give up their homes, their friends and their neighbours because their child has left home. What next? People on housing benefits borrowing a child to put in their spare bedrooms? Recent revelations appears to suggest many MPs in the past, have welcomed children into their bedrooms at a guest house, where they rented rooms by the hour.

The most vulnerable in society are under attack by politicians of all colours and by big business. Whether a pay day loan company or an outsourcing company, they appear to be similar parasites to me. That is just my perception of what is going on. What about you or have you buried your head in the sand so far, you see nothing, but your own and what’s yours? 

Please comment and share your views.

5 responses

  1. Loads of companies llike this in the job searching industry. Ones like A4E. It’s terrible how private companies are making millions out of people being in a poor state of finance.

    8, February 2013 at 9:13 am

    • Hi Nick,

      They are everywhere, blood sucking parasites. From traffic calming to building our hospitals they are making big profits at the expense of us all. They seem to be creeping into housing too. With no new social housing they are the big buy to let people, who bleed the housing benefit system. Spare bedrooms aren’t the problem, obscene rents are.

      I read this morning that 7% of the people around here don’t speak English. If they understood what was going on they would all go back to where they came from! 🙂

      8, February 2013 at 1:43 pm

  2. Pingback: Saturday Ideas for living « Mike10613's Blog

  3. angelhaven

    “I read this morning that 7% of the people around here don’t speak English. If they understood what was going on they would all go back to where they came from!”

    Oh, for a country where I could live off the land in a green community. Is it possible to get away from the clutches of these parasites? Is there still anywhere on earth (short of Alaska, Siberia, a desert or a deserted island) that you can live a natural existence?

    9, February 2013 at 10:53 am

    • Hi Angel,

      I often think I would like to be self sufficient, but i don’t fancy all the hard work involved. I would miss my computer and camera too! My comment wasn’t meant to be racist! I think many don’t really understand what goes on. They think they are better off here because they have more money. I wonder if their quality of life is better though.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      9, February 2013 at 2:35 pm

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