The DEMOCRAT

SNP let politics stands in way of contracts review, says MSP

Carillion pic

The SNP have been accused of “playing parliamentary games” by joining forces with the Tories to block a review of public procurement in Scotland.

Scottish Labour had called for the review amid concern about exploitation of workers and value for money.

The party’s economy spokesperson Jackie Baillie MSP raised harrowing tales of abuse of workers on public projects in Scotland, including sub-contractors working with failed outsourcing giant Carillion.

Carillion, before it crashed spectacularly into liquidation, had a major contract at HM Naval Base Clyde.

Despite being unable to meet its debts to sub contacts, it is still involved with Amey in a contract to refurbish the sports and leisure in the Churchill MoD housing estate in Helensburgh.

Baillie Jackie MSPMs Baillie (left) also raised the case of a woman who had been employed as an agency worker for five years at Disclosure Scotland, meaning she does not get sick pay or holiday pay and has no job security.

She said: “Public procurement is worth billions of pounds in Scotland, and we should ensure that companies who benefit are providing good quality, well paid employment.

“Instead, some use agency workers or zero hours contracts, denying their workforce holiday pay, sick pay or redundancy rights.

“On top of that, the SNP continue to use PFI to deliver many, if not most, capital projects, despite changes to accounting practices meaning these are not value for money.”

Despite her protestations, however Nationalist MSPs joined forces with the Tories to vote down Labour’s call for a review.

The local MSP said: “This was an opportunity to ensure more small businesses become an increasing part of the procurement supply chain.”

Scottish Labour’s economy spokesperson added:  “The SNP has joined forces with the Tories to vote down Labour’s call for a review of public procurement in Scotland.

“That review would have helped end the horrific exploitation of workers on Scotland’s public projects, many of whom are on zero-hours contracts and have to pay umbrella companies just to collect their wages.

 “This Dickensian attitude to workers’ rights and public procurement must end.”

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