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80% of public outraged as Serco cleared for new government work

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80% of public outraged as Serco cleared for new government work

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government

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A poll has found that 80% of the British public are angry that outsourcing company Serco has been cleared for new government work - despite currently being under criminal investigation for defrauding the taxpayer.

The research, carried out by Survation for campaign group We Own It, showed an increase in support for public services being run by government when companies are found guilty of mismanagement or defrauding taxpayers.

Serco agreed to pay back £68.5 million to the government last year, after it was discovered that the firm had been charging for electronically tagging people who were actually dead, back in prison or overseas.

We Own It is holding a protest called 'Sick of Serco' outside the company's AGM this Thursday.

The protest group, which has ordered sick bags for the event, says that a public service users bill would provide better, more transparently run services, ensure there is always a public option and give people a say over outsourcing and privatisation.

The group's polling shows that outsourcing companies like Serco, Atos, Capita and G4S have the lowest levels of trust compared to other organisations like central government, the civil service, the NHS and the police service, with 64% distrusting them and 21% trusting them.

Thursday will be the first AGM for Serco's new chief executive Rupert Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill.

Cat Hobbs, director of We Own It, said: “People are feeling more than a little sick of Serco - too big to fail, too sprawling to deliver but too profit-hungry to serve us properly.

"Politicians are colluding with corruption. We want to see them commit to giving public service users a real say, before our sick bags overflow.”

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