CAPITA in crisis. A key statement from its new CEO warns it is “far too complex”, and an analyst claims it is “haemorrhaging cash” as all dividends are halted and a call is made for £700 million from investors to strengthen its balance sheet.

A list of what Capita delivers, or is supposed to deliver on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, as listed on Capita’s website, is staggering: administering a teachers’ pension scheme since 1996 and other pension schemes; promoting a gas safety scheme; running helplines for Jobseekers’ Allowance and winter fuel payments; and carrying out disability workplace assessments, to name but a few.

So here is a company, by its own admission, covering too many diverse sectors, carrying out critical work for the government but, by its own admission, just not making enough cash! It does not too seem concerned that it may not also be able to deliver on quality in these vital people-related tasks, especially disability workplace assessments.

It has 70,000 UK employees. Will it next cut back on staff in order to shore up its balance sheet to service its priority shareholders in the future? It has net debt of £1.6 billion against a market value of £2.8bn. Over the last two years it has lost two-thirds of its share value.

Given that there have been profit warnings during that time, has the government been monitoring adequately the ability of this company to deliver services it has been allocated?

What is worrying is that it employs nearly twice the number of workers in the UK as Carillion. Another outsourcing conglomerate in crisis!

John Edgar

I WAS struck by the damning assessments of the UK’s economic prospects post-Brexit, which were leaked to a political website (‘Watershed moment’ as UK’s leader Brexit papers reveal extent of damage, The National, January 31).

According to the forecasts by civil servants, there is no scenario or possible outcome of Brexit that will not result in damage to the economy.

Indeed, even if a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU can be negotiated, growth would be five per cent lower over the next 15 years than if we were to stay within the EU.

So, in essence, the UK Government knew that Brexit would damage the economy and has kept this information from the public. It seems quite bizarre that we have a government that is not only covering up this information, which the public clearly has a right to know, but is knowingly leading us down a path that is deeply damaging to the economy.

To add insult to injury, when the Scottish Government a matter of weeks ago provided almost identical findings on the impact of Brexit, it was accused of “scaremongering” by a number of prominent Scottish Tories.

It is vital that the UK Government not only publishes these assessments in full, but also provides the impact assessment information it has that relates to Scotland.

Alex Orr

THE Scottish Labour branch office manager, Richard Leonard, said: “It’s time to end the failed experiment of austerity by making radical use of powers available to the Scottish Parliament” and that their (belated) plans are the most radical set of fiscal policies ever to be presented at Holyrood (Labour Budget dismissed as 'fantasy figures', The National, January 30).

Let me remind everyone of Labour’s submission to the Smith Commission. Powers that were not to be devolved: financial and economics, including monetary policy, currency, debt management and employment law; foreign affairs and defence; the welfare state, pensions and the majority of cash benefits.

And others that shouldn’t be devolved: immigration; drugs; betting, gaming and lotteries; the civil service; abortion and broadcasting (I wonder why).

And let me remind Mr Leonard of what Ian Murray MP said when asked to explain why Labour refused to vote against Tory austerity at Wastemonster: “We couldn’t vote against it, as it is Labour party policies that the Tories have stolen”.

I don’t remember him, nor the man of principles Jeremy Corbyn, standing up to deny it was Labour party policy.

Joe Wallace