Skip to main content

Serco hire stretch Hummer limo to transport asylum seekers

Stretched Hummer limousine similar to the one used to transport asylum seekers

Serco, one of the Government's favourite outsourcing companies and, it seems still a suspect in an ongoing fraud investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, caused controversy recently by hiring a stretched limousine to transport a group of asylum seekers from London to Manchester.

The Government says that Serco are required to use "appropriate" transport and that Serco pay the cost of whatever vehicle they buy/hire for the purpose.  What does the Government mean by "appropriate"?  I'd assume it means things like, "able to carry the number of people required", "safe", "able to complete the journey in a reasonable time" and so on.  Why then has the use of a limo caused any controversy at all when a) it costs the taxpayer no more or less than using a coach, 10 taxis, a bus or any other mode of transport; and b) it seems to have got the job done, on time and without any problems.

What then is the problem?

Voters elected a Conservative government that, like most Conservative governments, enjoys privatising thing and getting work done in the private sector because they believe that this offers the best value for taxpayer's money and gets the work done more efficiently.  Whether that belief is right or wrong, it is what voters elected just a few months ago.

The Government has outsourced the work of transporting asylum seekers from temporary accommodation to more permanent accommodation.  The private company employed for the task has carried out the work at the agreed price.  I'm quite sure that Serco is not going to hire vehicles for a laugh or that reduce its profit.  But, if it did decide to reduce its profit on the job then (assuming you are not a shareholder in Serco) what does it have to do with you?  In short, what is everybody complaining about?  This is the small-state, free-market in action that you voted for.

The only logical answer I can see is that people don't like the idea of asylum seekers receiving any sort of "luxury" even if it is just a ride in a ridiculous-looking car that people normally hire for special occasions.  I doubt they had access to a free bar for the ride.  I doubt a tour of the local bars and clubs was included in the ride.  Once those are gone then it's basically just a funny looking coach.

If you think that maybe Serco shouldn't be charging the Government so much that they can afford to hire a Limo for a job like this then you are wrong.  Serco are required, by law, to get the best deal for their shareholders and to make the most profit for their shareholders - another Conservative government law by the way.  If you think that Serco is being paid too much for this contract then you should direct your ire at the politicians who a) awarded this contract; and b) allow it to continue, not at Serco and definitely not at the asylum seekers.


  1. It sounds like there are a lot of problems that are arising for the Serco business. That being said, it is interesting that there is a controversy surrounding the fact that they hired a limo to ensure that they can carry some travelers. I would be interested to know the different ways that someone is able to find the limos that are around these days. Without having a great limo it seems like there are certain things that need to be done to ensure that a large group of people can be transported.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Ched Evans

Before I begin, I will say that at around 4,500 words this is probably the longest blog I’ve ever posted but I think it’s all necessary to set the scene for this case and explain the background that has been largely ignored or airbrushed in the press. Despite its length, I have not attempted to include every little detail of either fact or law but have done my best to provide a balanced picture of the Ched Evans case, what happened and why the courts reached the decisions they did. There has been so much written about the Ched Evans case over the past weekend, much of it based on a very shaky grasp of the facts and law, that I decided I would read up about the case and weigh in (hopefully on a slightly firmer footing than most of the articles I’ve read so far).

Broadly speaking there seem to be three groups who have opinions on the case:
1.Sexual violence groups (including people describing themselves as “radical feminists”) who appear to take the view that the case is awful, the Court o…

How do the police decide whether to charge a suspect?

A question I’m often asked by clients (and in a roundabout way by people arriving at this blog using searches that ask the question in a variety of ways), is “how do the police decide whether to charge or take no further action (NFA)?”
What are the options?
Let’s have a quick think about what options are available to the police at the end of an investigation.
First, they can charge or report you for summons to attend court.  Charging means that you are given police bail and are required to attend court in person.  A summons is an order from the court for you to attend or for you to send a solicitor on your behalf.  In many cases where a person is summonsed, the court will allow you the option of entering a plea by post.
Second, you may be given a caution.  These can be a simple caution, which on the face of it is a warning not to be naughty in future, or it can be a conditional caution.  Conditions could include a requirement to pay for the cost of damage or compensation, etc.  Either…

Bid to prevent defendants knowing who accuses them of a crime

When I read The Trial by Kafka and Nineteen Eighty-Four by Orwell, I took them as warnings of how a bad justice system wrecks lives of those caught up in it. Sadly, some Members of Parliament and the House of Lords seem to view the books more as a guide to how they would like our Criminal Justice System to run. Today, I read of plans to hide the names of accusers and witnesses from defendants in a large number of cases. Victims of sexual offences, such as rape, have had the right to lifelong anonymity for many years now. This means that it is a criminal offence to publish information that will lead to a complainant being identified. A Bill currently being considered by Parliament would extend that anonymity to bar defendants and their lawyers knowing the name of the person accusing them. This would apply not only in sexual offences, as has been reported in the press, but also in violent offences.
The anonymity currently offered to victims of sexual offences is not total, the complainant…