UK unions critique of government cuts

As the UK government proposes heavy spending cuts,unions and others are responding with critiques on the impact of these policies and advancing alternatives.   The largest public sector union, Unison, and the TUC have published an analysis of the government's budget proposals. This goes beyond the impact of tax and benefit changes, and shows how the cuts in services affect the poorest households most.  

EC turns blind eye to failing public-private partnerships

European Commission turns blind eye to failing public-private partnerships, says new report (Brussels, 23 March 2010) -- A new report by the Public Service International Research Unit cautions the European Commission against enthusiastically endorsing public-private partnerships, contending that PPPs, as they are known, do not supplement public spending – they absorb it. The European Commission outlines high hopes for developing public-private partnerships in its EU 2020 strategy.

Deals in support services likely to surge

Deals in support services likely to surge
By Alistair Gray
Published: February 16 2010 01:13 | Last updated: February 16 2010 01:13

Private sector hurts Interserve

Private sector hurts Interserve
By Alistair Gray
Published: January 12 2010 23:02 | Last updated: January 12 2010 23:02

Corruption by UK companies 1: Bribes for arms sales

The biggest UK manufacturing company is the arms manufacturer BAe. The company being investigated for paying bribes to politicians and officials in countries around the world

- Austria: BAe may be prosecuted in Austria for paying bribes to win an order for BAE's Eurofighters in 2002 for €1.7bn (£1.5bn).

Intl Power alliance with Mitsui in UK and Indonesia

(London – 29 March 2007) International Power announces that it has signed an agreement with Mitsui & Co Ltd (Mitsui) to create a common ownership platform for its UK* assets (to be held 75% International Power and 25% Mitsui) and to equalise its returns from Paiton, Indonesia. Mitsui is a related party due to its existing relationship with International Power and hence this transaction is subject to shareholder approval.

problems of water in England and Wales

A critical review of the performance of the privatised water sector in England and Wales in relation to investment, efficiency, governance and other issues.

From a private past to a public future? - the problems of water in England and Wales
David Hall and Emanuele Lobina, PSIRU, November 2007

Electricity takeovers

December 2008: EDF buys 50% of nuclear business of USA company Constellation
December 2008: EDF bid for British Energy cleared by EC
January 2009: RWE buys Netherlands electricity company Essent from municipalities for €9.3billion

The price paid for Essent is high and financed by debt, which most companies find very hard to raise The FT Lex column says all the deals are explicable as attempts by the big electricity companies to buy the few remaining opportunities for market shares - other markets eg France, Germany, Spain, Italy - are already 'consolidated'.

The Constellation deal is that EDF buys 49.99 per cent of Constellation's nuclear business - five reactors with 3,869MW - for $4.5billion; the rest of Constellation remains an independent company; but EDF already owns 9.51% of Constellation as a whole.

FT extracts below.

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