PFI Scotland

As the full catastrophe of the Labour / Tory PFI scandal unfolds before our eyes, Bella starts a series of articles and films looking at privatised Britain, what it means, who profits and what we can do about it, with Serco, the Biggest Company You’ve Never Heard Of:



Categories: Globalisation, Identity, Industrial Action

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8 replies

  1. Well that was chilling…

  2. Yes, far worse to come.

    Local authorities, health trusts and other public agencies will end up paying up to twice as much as is necessary for the 700 developments planned or built under the UK government’s Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

    And private companies could pocket up to £50 billion in profits from investing in schools, hospitals and other public building projects through the scheme.

    The revelations, based on tens of thousands of pages released under freedom of information laws, have confirmed critics’ worst fears. They say PFI has turned out to be “a huge scam”, “a total taxpayer rip-off” and “a cynical accounting fiddle”.

    Internal financial projections for six PFI schemes show investors are expecting to recoup 12 times more than they invested. In some cases shareholders are predicted to make truly astronomical gains.

    Equity of just £100 invested in rebuilding Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride is projected to earn £89 million in dividends over 30 years, while half a million pounds of equity in the new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary is expected to win dividends of £168m.

    PFI was introduced under the Conservative prime minister, John Major, in 1992 and later pursued by Gordon Brown after he became chancellor in 1997. It was designed as a way of injecting private capital into public projects in an attempt to get debts off the Treasury’s books.

  3. But some form of debt must be on the Treasuries books, no? Otherwise we, as citizens would be unconcerned at this rampant capitalism. If it did not impact on the public purse then Private Eye have been wasting their time for years.

    The whole division of provision as ‘private’ is good ‘public’ is bad is an artifice of economics. And accountancy. Never forget the accountants.

    If an institution can be seen as an economic cost, say prisons, it does not become an economic benefit when it is privatised. We are still paying someone to run it. I’d have thought that was obvious. And it is unlikely that any company is able to capitalise through borrowing at a cheaper rate than a government. (I say that as an article of faith.)

    Our local difficulty with this – most recently over the lights out during operations at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh – suggests to me that society has lost it’s way. Attempts have been made to break these contracts in the past. Apparently it is all too difficult.

    My modest proposal is that Gordon Brown was completely insane at the time this system became prevelant. As it is impossible for an insane person to enter into a legally binding contract they can all be torn up.

  4. Gee – I’ve never seen their name on a ballot paper!

  5. Reverse pork barrel politics. Disgraceful.

  6. I have posted the following elsewhere in the past.

    “It is remarkable that before New Labour adopted PFI as their pet funding strategy, senior Labour and Tory politicians were on record against PPP/PFI as being a flawed concept:

    Yvette Cooper, formerly a Treasury Minister, clearly voiced her concerns in an article in the Independent on July 26, 1996 when she attacked the then Conservative Government’s proposals: “so long as the PFI is viewed as a wheeze to invest and provide services without the bill showing up on today’s government balance sheet, serious problems will remain. The wheeze for the public finances and taxpayers of today risks being a burden on the public finances and taxpayers of tomorrow”.

    In his book ” Pretty Straight Guys”, Nick Cohen says ” PFI had been introduced by Kenneth Clarke when he was Chancellor in the Major government.He cheerily admitted afterwards that the PFI was a dreadful idea. He had only accepted it as a temporary expedient because the Major government had enormous debts and he couldn’t raise money any other way ——- New Labour turned Clarke’s stopgap into a foundation of public finance.”

    So it appears that New Labour adopted a Tory wheeze and even now, when the costs are beginning to hurt they still push on with it; until recently blaming the SNP for not using PFI to build the new Forth bridge.

    You couldn’t make it up”

  7. Labour deserves to be beaten with the PFI stick for years to come. Absolute madness.

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