While decent people are losing jobs because of coronavirus, Crapita just keeps on growing courtesy of their BBC honeypot.
Bullshittery is oozing from the BBC as we learn there are now 800 specially trained Crapita staff “working to provide over the phone support to older customers“ and “we are also working with hundreds of money advice and community organisations to reach people directly, so they understand what the changes mean”.
Readers may remember when Channel Four broadcaster’s Dispatches team sent a psychiatric nurse through Crapita’s disability assessment training, where a senior staff member urged him to do “as many assessments a day as you can possibly manage”. “Drag ’em in, get ’em rejected, and put another penny on the shareholders’ dividend”.
In 2017 little loved Crapita had just reported an ugly set of results. Parting company with its chief executive had seen £300m wiped from its market value, and was set to get booted out of the FTSE 100.
“I image most people can bear its misfortunes with a great deal of fortitude. The company is in the middle of a nasty scandal over its collection of TV licence money on behalf of the BBC, which is investigating allegations that collectors, motivated by an aggressive incentive scheme, targeted vulnerable people.
“It also runs much criticised assessments of the eligibility of disabled people for personal independence payments on behalf of the Department for Work & Pensions. That business led to calls for an investigation last year after Channel Four caught one assessor on film dismissing a claimant’s “disability known as fat”.
“Here’s a list of operations culled from its website: business process management, business transformation, corporate and administration services, customer management, debt solutions, digital and software solutions, financial services, HR and recruitment, information technology, legal services, procurement, property and infrastructure, travel and events. With all that on its plate, is it any wonder scandals keep on emerging? The ones referred to above are just the most recent.
Over 75s don’t need the bullshittery to understand how and why Crapita last year received £59.9million from TV Licensing, the body which outsources the collection of the £157.50 annual levy for the Corporation. But following the controversial decision to strip millions of over-75s of free licences, the BBC confirmed the company is being paid another £38million to hire 800 new staff to send out letters and chase pensioners who fail to pay.
If Crapita’s overall collection contract remains the same in 2019/20, it means up to £97.9million of taxpayers’ cash could go to the firm this year a figure described as “sickening” by older people’s groups. Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s charity director, added “The fact that these free TV licences have been taken away in such an underhand way has offended many older people’s sense of fair play and significant numbers seem committed to doing everything they can to frustrate the new scheme”. A spokesman for TV Licensing, on behalf of the BBC, said ‘No one needs to do anything until they have received a letter from TV Licensing”.
Then they will unleash the Crapita “dogs of war” against those who decline to pay.
But here’s a thought. If the 1.7million over75s could each buy 100 shares in Crapita, they might then vote at the company annual meeting to dissolve the company! Are you already salivating at the idea? I know I am!