During a Government statement on Carillion I questioned the Cabinet Office Minister, saying that the Carillion collapse shows that it is time for us to impose a windfall tax on these kind of companies who are taking taxpayers for a ride to the tune of billions of pounds. Government must do better.

Stephen Kinnock: This whole sorry tale is a textbook example of the privatisation of profit and the socialisation of risk. Companies such as Carillion have been taking taxpayers for a ride to the tune of billions of pounds of profit. Is not today the day when the case for a windfall tax on these sorts of companies became unanswerable?

David Lidington: I normally have time for the hon. Gentleman, but I am afraid that in this instance he wrote his script before listening to the statement. There have been no payments to Carillion except payments for services actually delivered by Carillion companies, in line with their contracts. What today has demonstrated is that the financial risk is transferred to the private sector contractor, and it is right that that should be the case while the Government concentrate on continuity of public services.

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