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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Labour's Toxic PFI/PPP Legacy


When Labour won the 1997 Westminster election, they were committed to abolishing the Tories' Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Instead, they merely rebranded them as Public Private Partnerships (PPP).


Private money was secured on extortionate long-term repayment schedules over 30 years, with a ‘build now, pay later’ approach, meaning schools, hospitals etc were built at for a sum averaging five times their real cost, with the private sector owning the buildings at the end of the payment term.

Such assets, it was cynically believed, would win short-term votes with payments ultimately made by our children and grandchildren.


In North Ayrshire four schools that cost £81 million will cost taxpayers £401 million to repay.

When North Ayrshire Council entered into those contracts, Labour was in power at council Holyrood and Westminster.


The SNP abolished PFI/PPP in 2007. However, unitary payments on contracts signed by the Tories and Labour remain a significant pressure on local authority budgets.

There are 38 on-going local authority PFI and PPP contracts across Scotland.


To date, £8,150 million has been paid on those contracts up to this year, with a further £7,250 million of payments over the coming years, equating to £15,400 million for local authority projects with a capital value of £3,270 million.


PFI/PPP repayments impact on local authority spending power. Labour’s toxic legacy, failed to deliver best value for taxpayers. We are still burdened with paying for the legacy of what were, Labour’s very costly mistakes – mistakes for which they have never apologised to the Scottish people.

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Kenneth Gibson SNP

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