Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Don't worry, the tax payer won't be paying for it. The nice people at Serco dug deep and transported 7 illegal immigrants from Heathrow to Manchester on behalf of the Home Office, for the sum of £3,000.

Of course the tax payer is paying for it somehow. Even if Serco are making a "loss" on this you can be very sure they're making it back with what they're milking from such ridiculous contracts elsewhere.

Never having made this particular journey before in my life, and lacking the wisdom and economies of scale that we pay these experts at Serco for, armed only with a laptop I Googled "Heathrow to Manchester" and found this:

National Express coaches range between £34.50 and £45.90 depending on when you leave. 7 seats at the top price would cost £321.30.

Standard rail fare without booking is £189, so times 7 is £1,323.

SkyScanner shows BA flights today as £195, so £1,365 for 7.

Sixt will hire you a 15 seat minibus for £335 for 24 hours. £120 for a driver for a day, same again on fuel makes it £575, £22 for the M6 toll both ways and it's a shade under £600.

I couldn't get a quote from people smugglers, but Mogdan paid £370 to cross the channel, which is a bit closer but involves an international border and a stretch of sea. If you could do a deal to get these people the rest of the way up to Manchester for the same price that would be £2,590.

So can I get a job in procurement at Serco? Or better still, the Home Office? I'd only ask about triple what someone of my experience would get on the open market, which is the first of many bargains for them. Maybe not, as in a full 15 minutes I haven't been able to find a more expensive (not to mention gratuitously offensive) way of transporting 7 people from London to Manchester short of chartering an aircraft.

Even the most obvious explanation of blatant corruption doesn't seem plausible. If you were going to help out your brother/uncle/mate on the Home Office's tab you'd probably be a little bit more restrained. Half that price would leave you room to hire and fuel a minibus and still pocket £1,000. Why the stretched limo? Why blab about it in the pub? 

It looks like another example of our influential cultural masochists seeking to elevate these people to a privileged class.