Labour’s toxic legacy of private finance continues to be felt across Scotland, the SNP has said today, after figures confirmed that Private Finance Initiative (PFI) payments rose to over £1,000 million per year for the first time.
The SNP has called on Labour and the Lib Dems to apologise for their disastrous legacy after the figures published showed that unitary charge payments related to PFI projects rose to £1,009 million in 2016/17 – up from £995 million the previous year. These payments are still rising.
Commenting, Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“The scale of PFI repayments are now absolutely staggering, showing the sheer incompetence and damaging legacy of the previous Labour and Lib Dem Executive, which is holding Scotland back to this day. Their short term and failed attempt to buy votes by building projects that would have to be paid for by future generations means that money that could have been spent on improving important public services is instead being diverted to pay off their enormous debts.
“Deals like the PFI schools leave taxpayers paying way over the odds for years to come and many of the buildings weren't even built to basic standards, causing serious safety concerns and school closures across Edinburgh.
"In North Ayrshire £401 million will have to be paid over 30 years for four schools that actually cost only £81 million to build. And North Ayrshire Council will not even own these assets at the end of the contract in 2037!
“Labour and the Lib Dems would do well to reflect on how their failures are still costing Scottish taxpayers a fortune and apologise for landing Scotland with a billion pound bill.”
The figures can be found on page 39: