After Carillion, Can Capitalism Clean Up Its Act? Or Will Marx Have The Final Word?

The collapse of the Wolverhampton-based construction group Carillion is catastrophic for its 43,000 employees at home and overseas, for the Government and for members of the stricken pension fund.

It represents a nadir for the private sector outsourcing companies which, since the era of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, have been relied upon to deliver all manner of public services, from building hospitals and schools to modernising the NHS and even providing school meals.

In the fierce scramble for business among these behemoths, Carillion was so desperate for contracts that it consistently overpromised on the work it could do for an agreed cost. When it failed to deliver on time and on price, as was the case with the new 646-bed Royal Liverpool hospital, the group went on a borrowing spree.

More than 20,000 jobs in the UK, and more overseas, are at risk after Carillion ran out of time to find a way to restructure its £1.5bn debt burden. Pictured: A staff member outside an office in London

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