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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

PFI: Labour's £30bn Toxic Legacy

Writing in the Sunday Herald, Judith Duffy suggests that Labour’s “toxic Private Finance Initiative (PFI) legacy” could cost Scottish taxpayers £30,000 million over the coming decades, with the public sector having to pay out on schools, hospitals, roads and waste treatment plants.

According to figures released recently by the Treasury, there were 80 projects completed in Scotland between 1993 and 2006 which still have contracts being paid for by the taxpayer.

The estimated annual unitary charges add up to £30.2bn with contracts which extend for as long as 35 years.

Andrew Picken, in the Sunday Post, meanwhile, reveals that every public building in Scotland constructed with private money is to undergo a safety check.

Said Kenneth Gibson:

"Labour's incompetence and profligacy with public money is clearly shown by the way they squandered billions on building schools and hospitals whilst in power which will have to be paid for over many years.

"Thankfully, the SNP has replaced Labour’s shockingly expensive Private Finance Initiative, which paid for four North Ayrshire schools. These cost £83 million but North Ayrshire Council (NAC) must pay interest and charges totalling £401 million by 2037/38, with NAC increasing payments annually from £11.1 to £16.6 million whilst not even owning the buildings at the end of the contract.

"These rising payments limit NAC’s ability to invest in jobs and services. "Using non-profit distribution, the SNP builds schools and hospitals through conventional means or via the Scottish Future's Trust, with private profits capped at 5% and surpluses directed to the public sector.

"Now all PFI buildings - often criticised for being built to a poor specification with cheap materials - are having to be checked to see if they are actually safe.

"Experience shows that only the SNP can be trusted to invest wisely in public sector projects."


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