Fears of job losses in United Kingdom after Carillion collapse

The meeting was attended by ministers from all departments affected by Carillion's collapse, including Finance Minister Philip Hammond.

Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman, James Slack, denied that the government had been taken by surprise by the firm's collapse. "We need a more sustainable business model moving forward, and the government need to play a more active role in helping the industry to perform".

According to Construction News, Carillion's partner firms on the HS2 project have plans in place to continue works on the controversial high-speed rail line. The liquidation leaves their fate up in the air and could lead to higher costs.

The 200-year-old company employed 43k people globally (20k in the United Kingdom alone), and has reportedly been "fighting for survival" since July, drowning in $3B of debt.

SBF president Stephen Kemp said: "The news that Carillion has now gone into liquidation has major ramifications for the United Kingdom construction sector".

The government will not be giving the same protection to private sector employees that it is offering to public sector employees beyond a 48-hour period of grace.

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The listed firm entered liquidation on Monday, six months after it issued a huge profits warning. The first was in July 2017, which triggered the resignation of chief executive Richard Howson.

"Tens of thousands of jobs are now at risk, along with vital public services and major infrastructure projects across the country", Nowak said in a statement.

After Carillion failed, having racked up debts and liabilities worth $A2.6 billion, MPs heard how bosses tweaked rules in the firm's 2016 annual report to make it harder for investors to claw back bonuses if the company hit trouble.

The firm's two facilities management contracts with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) are worth £158m, covering 83 military sites across the country and bringing with them 850 jobs. Hedge funds had been betting against the company as far back as 2015, but that number peaked following the firm's first profit warning a year ago.

But the government's own guidance indicates it should be conducting financial assessments before procuring services.

Mr Lidington defended the government's decision not to bail out Carillion and commented, "Taxpayers should not, and will not, bail out a private sector company for private sector losses, or allow rewards for failure". So where are the contingency measures?

"It raises serious questions for the Government, not least about its over-reliance on major contractors".

The government is responsible for this mess and now it has to answer.

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