By Max Clarke

Dozens of small businesses across the UK rely directly on Bombardier for a range of sales and will suffer as a result of the government’s awarding the £1 billion Thameslink contract to Siemens, a survey has found.

The government awarded the lucrative contract to the German firm as it offered a more competitive bid which the government said delivered better value to the taxpayer. The EU procurement laws also state that they were compelled to offer to the most competitive bidder, regardless of nationality- a claim that has been refuted by trades unions.

But today’s research suggests that the widespread socioeconomic harm that the decision will cause in the time of recession meant that the government was also compelled to act on behalf of its citizens. The cost in the terms of lost tax revenue and unemployment support will outweigh and savings made by selecting the cheaper German rival, the union note.

"This powerful survey is a devastating indictment of the government's decision on Thameslink. It is absolutely scandalous that the Tory-led government did not stop to examine the social and economic impact of not choosing Bombardier for the Thameslink contract,” Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey.

"From Aberdare in Wales to Cameron's own Oxfordshire constituency of Witney, countless small and medium sized companies will pay the price for this decision. Some companies are even having to lay-off workers now, and a third believe the decision will have a substantially negative impact on their business.

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