With news that Stagecoach could be withdrawing from the East Coast Rail franchise much earlier than previously anticipated questions must be asked about business behaviour.
That Stagecoach got its numbers wrong seems to be a good enough reason that they can withdraw from a contract leaving taxpayers money to bail them out.
The compulsory liquidation of Carillion has put services provided to schools, prisons and hospitals at risk. What wasn’t at risk it seems was the dividends paid to shareholders, whilst the pension scheme obligations to over 20,000 employees were underfunded. Again, taxpayers money will have to be used to bail out those relying on these services and pensions with a £100m support package already in place for smaller businesses put in jeopardy because of the failings of Carillion.
How many companies and financial institutions will the Government allow to keep paying dividends to shareholders with no comeback when the company fails? How many times will the Government pay subsidies to companies only for them to fail to deliver?
BHS pension funds were left with a huge deficit yet according to a story in the Daily Mirror in December there is a possibility that Phillip Green could recover £13m of the money he was required to pay towards these funds.
Why is it that people who have worked and saved for years can be left with almost nothing whilst those who received dividends, when the money should have gone to pension funds, can hold on to their payments?
There are no guarantees nowadays on jobs, salaries or pensions, all there seems to be guarantees for is that dividends will be paid to shareholders. This cannot last, eventually there will be no more pension pots to be raided. Maybe it’s time we started saving ourselves and looking after our own futures, nobody else seems to be.