Sunday, 24 January 2010

Scottish Futures Trust Criticised

Recently I posted on the lack of information the public were receiving about the Scottish Futures Trust, the Scottish Government's answer to the excesses of the PFI system of public funding.

Today the SFT is receiving further bad press, in the form of a poorly written article, from the Scotland on Sunday. Two of Scotland's most respected economists Jim and Margaret Cuthbert, claim the SFT is no better than the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) it replaced.

The economists argue that ministers have 'needlessly' ensured that 'some of the worst features of the old PFI would be carried on.'

In the Scottish Left Review, the Cuthberts produce new evidence on the old PFI scheme which shows that, in some cases, there was hardly any proper competition for tenders for school buildings. Some of the contracts were worth up to £300 million. On top of that, they claim that such were the size of the contracts, middle-sized Scottish firms were locked out of the process, denying the Scottish economy potential business.

The Cuthberts argue that the SFT is making the same mistakes.

Since councils introduced 'best value' some years ago, small companies were excluded from the tendering process and I know several local business which have closed over the years because they were unable to survive without their council contracts. The requirements of the 'best value' tenders were financially too great.

My knowledge of the internal workings of the Scottish government is negligible, but I suspect Alex Salmond and John Swinney won't be very happy to read the Cuthbert's comments today. Could I suggest a hastily arranged meeting with the Cuthberts may be fruitful and then a press release from the Scottish government giving us the full facts?

Of course Scotland wouldn't be having to pay out such excesses if we had our own fiscal policy and like all other countries were able to borrow for capital projects.

Scottish labour don't need to seek out their troubles today either. Anne Moffat, MP for East Lothian, has been deselected by her local party. That's Anne Moffatt of the £45,ooo annual travel costs fame and the one who was allegedly robbed of her jewelry, by some of today's youth, when out walking.


Allan said...

I would have thought that the more damaging story would have been the one concerning the SFT's suggestion that Scottish Water should be privatised.

If water is privatised in Scotland, it would be a disaster for thoudsands of people, who lets not forget "enjoy" lower average wages than the rest of the country. Any party who enacted this measure would guarantee instant un-popularaty. Need I bring up the result of Strathclyde's 1995 referendum on the matter.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

As long as the candidate wears a Labour Rosette I'll vote for them(multiple times if need be)

subrosa said...

Allan, I looked for information about that because I'd heard about it a few weeks ago. Couldn't find anything to back up the claim. Sad to hear it's part of their suggestions though.

subrosa said...

Vote early, vote often, eh Niko? ;)

Baron's Life said...

Sorry I'm late but a summer riding accident had actually put me out of commission longer than I would have liked.
I wish you and your family a Happy New Year
All the best for 2010

subrosa said...

Yoohoo Baron. What on earth have you been doing to yourself? I hope you're back in one piece and ok.

Same to you and yours Baron and a peaceful and healthy 2010. x

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