Scot­land urged to fol­low rest of the UK and ditch dis­cred­ited fi­nance scheme

Sunday Mail (UK) - - Front Page - Po­lit­i­cal Edi­tor

Scot­land could soon be the only part of the UK us­ing dis­cred­ited PFIstyle fund­ing for pub­lic pro­jects.

Chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond vowed to cal l time on the schemes which see Govern­ment lease schools and hos­pi­tals from pri­vate f irms while pay­ing com­mer­cial rates of in­ter­est.

De­spite crit­i­cis­ing PFI – the use of which be­came wide­spread in the UK un­der Labour

in the 1990s – the Scot­tish Labour’s Leonard Scot­tish Govern­ment have run up huge li­a­bil­i­ties through their own Non- Profit Dis­tribut­ing model run by the Scot­tish Fu­tures Trust (SFT).

There are about 47 pro­jects over­seen by the SFT that are un­der­stood to have been built for £ 2.7bil­lion but are likely to cost tax­pay­ers al­most £8bil­lion in in­ter­est and main­te­nance over the next 20 to 30 years.

Scott ish Labour leader Richard Leonard said the party will go into the next Holy­rood elec­tion com­mit­ted to sign­ing no new pri­vate fi­nance deals.

The Scot­tish Govern­ment said: “PFI was phased out in Scot­land more than10 years ago. No new PFI pro­jects have been ini­ti­ated since 2007. Fund­ing of pub­lic in­fra­struc­ture has vastly im­proved since then, with cu­mu­la­tive sav­ings of over £1bil­lion re­alised for tax­pay­ers through our ap­proach.”

They added that new mod­els of fund­ing en­abled pro­jects to progress more quickly.

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