Socialist Worker

Private Finance Initiative - fleecing our services

Issue No. 2117

The Private Finance Initiative (PFI), which has been the main way the government has chosen to fund the building of new hospitals and schools, is wasting taxpayers’ money to line the pockets of greedy consultancy firms.

This is not the conclusion of an anti-privatisation group nor of a trade union funded report, but of the Commons public accounts committee.

Conservative MP Richard Bacon, a member of the committee, said PFI schools and hospitals that wanted to make changes to their original specifications were being “fleeced” by management fees to the tune of £6 million a year.

He said, “The fees rarely have any relation to the work involved and are often levied for spurious reasons.”

But the rot goes deeper than just the scheming consultants.

According the Manchester Business School, the 155 PFI hospital schemes signed so far are worth £9 billion. The additional cost of private finance is £480 million a year – enough to build several new hospitals every year.

Despite this all three of the main parties remain absolutely committed to PFI because they are all ideologically committed to the free market.

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What We Think
Tue 2 Sep 2008, 18:37 BST
Issue No. 2117
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