I know it’s Saturday, but I must, I fear, rant again. Come on, be fair. Friday’s post was full of cheeriness and light. Gimme a break. Being upbeat drains me.
On Thursday, Posh Shoes executed her first piece of exceptionally bad timing. There’s a school of thought that says her first was actually becoming PM by stealth, but she is the PM and we have to live with it. However, she has now revealed her feet of clay in an act of stupidity that would leave even Pigshagger gasping for air.
There’s been a bit of a stink about a US company, Concentrix. They were subcontracted by Odious and his cutthroats at the DWP, plus I imagine Gorgeous in his relentless attack on the poor and sick, to track down tax fraudsters. A laudable aim, you may think. But the target wasn’t the tax evading megacorps. It was people claiming tax credits.
If you don’t understand what those are, and if you’re outside the UK you may not, it’s a way for people to claim back income tax when the job they have pays so badly they can’t get by. This is not a wheeze that enables you to gad off to the Seychelles for you jollidays. It’s a means of making sure you don’t starve because your pay is piss poor.
Concentrix tackled the task with a great deal of vim and vigour. One might even use the term ruthlessness. So ruthless were they that MPs have been inundated with complaints about people being wrongly consigned to the poor house.
The furore was such that even the Toffs in power had to sit up and take notice. Concentrix’s contract expires in eight months, and ‘will not be renewed.’ Why it’s not been revoked immediately to keep people out of food banks is anybody’s guess.
The underlying message is that some government policies are to important for their enactment to be entrusted to outside contractors. This is not the first time there has been a clusterfuck. Time’s short, but for one example just think about the massive cost overruns and final abandonment of the attempt to get the records of all NHS patients onto a universally accessible database. As it happens that task was entrusted to a US company too.
With a splendid sense of comic timing, on the very day that the announcement was made that Concentrix would be cast into the fiery pit, another announcement crept under the wire.
Hinkley Point has been given the go-ahead. That’s the atomic power station that’s going to be built by the Chinese for a French company that will receive a guaranteed amount for every kilowatt/hour above the current market value. Plus it’s going to cost us about £30bn (more than four times the original estimate) for an unproven technology. Thirty billion smackers would be quite an investment if used on renewables. But Posh needs to keep the French sweet so they don’t screw us when we leave the EU, and China has to be kept sweet as a replacement trading partner.
Works of true genius. Only the Toffs, eh?