After new figures from BBC Scotland News, the wasteful legacy of Labour’s damaging PFI deals has been revealed.
Its legacy will cost Scottish taxpayer’s tens of millions of pounds over the next few years. Concerns over the allocation of contracts and their value for money have dogged Labour for years, with these figures another damning indictment of their mismanagement of Scotland’s finances.
Across Scotland, 11 public buildings – built using Labour’s controversial PFI contracts – are set to expire in the upcoming years, leaving public bodies needing to pay the PFI provider a fee or market value for the property if they want to have control of the building.
The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Wishaw General in Lanarkshire, five high schools in Falkirk and two Scottish Water waste plants are some of the public buildings who will be affected by the brutal payback scheme, which was championed by Tony Blair’s government in the early 2000s.
This is despite widespread criticism of the quality of some of the builds, and PFI contractors already pocketing profit of up to over ten times the original cost of the build, at the taxpayer’s expense.
PFI was introduced by John Major’s Conservative government, but Labour was the biggest supporter of the controversial financing model. The result 25 years later is that Scottish taxpayers are still left with Labour PFI contracts costing millions each year. https://t.co/bNKnTre0UG
— Gordon Macdonald MSP (@GMacdonaldSNP) August 25, 2023
In North Ayrshire alone, over £400 million has to be paid by local taxpayers to cover the cost of four schools that had a capital cost of only £83 million. Schools that North Ayrshire Council won’t even own when the contracts terminate in 2037.
It is a disgrace that throughout Scotland, the public has been forced to shell out billions of pounds – over and above the actual cost of the projects – in order to keep control of vital public buildings to service our communities. All while PFI contractors’ rake in huge profits.
PFI ‘buy back’ deals to cost taxpayer millions https://t.co/FogX2sCulH
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) August 25, 2023
Labour continues to be more than happy to champion Tory policies when it suits them, and under hard-Brexit supporting Sir Keir Starmer, we can be sure that PFI isn’t the only cost the public will be forced to front if Labour ever return to government.
Only the SNP can be trusted to protect public finances from shambolic Labour mismanagement and Tory austerity.