Wednesday, 17 February 2010

PFI - Labour's Legacy

Last week in the Scottish Parliament, Kenny Gibson MSP asked the following Parliamentary Question:
To ask the Scottish Government how much it will have to find in total from 2010-11 onwards to fund all existing PFI and PPP contracts.

John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth replied:
The total unitary payments for all existing PFI and PPP contracts from 2010-2011 onwards are approximately £27.7 billion.  That figure is inclusive of Scottish Government PFI/PPP funding contributions.  A table showing the annual costs is here.

John Wilson MSP requested an estimate for each local authority in 2010-2011 and 2011-12.  This table was supplied by John Swinney.

It is noticeable from the table that Glasgow City and South Lanarkshire are the two highest debtors for 2011-12 with 48.2 and 32.5 respectively.  Four-fifths of the £27.7 billion debt is attributable to two labour-controlled councils.

I have criticised the government's Scottish Future's Trust in the past but it must be better value than PFI which is set to absorb billions for at least a generation.

What a legacy labour have left Scotland's youth - £27 billion of debt.  An optimist hope that, with the tories (should they be elected) in Westminster and the SNP in Holyrood, the situation can be rectified is here, however I doubt if much can be done due to the contract restrictions.


Apogee said...

Interesting figures. Does any one have figures for the cost of these projects if the contracts had been let in a normal contractual manner,so we can see exactly how much more PFI is costing us?


subrosa said...

I'm sure there must be approximate percentages somewhere Apogee, I'll have a search around.

Alex said...

Excellent post. I wonder if the companies who got the PFI contracts have contributed directly or indirectly to Labour's election funds?

I don't really wonder, I'd just like the details.

Dean MacKinnon-Thomson said...


Debt is what Labour governments are all about! Every party who takes over from them are forced into making the tough choices that Labour's economic and social mismanagement generates.

I shall, as a Tory, soon be a supporter of a Party that may be in government- and forced to clean up Labour's debt mountain. Thus I do feel not a little simpathy for the SNP administration, none of that £27 is down to them...but they shall now suffer the political tides that go with making the tougher choices to salvage the economy.

I feel for the SNP, they should make abundently clear that this is Labour's mess, these cuts that are coming are LABOUR'S cuts.

subrosa said...

Will we ever find out Alex? After the Wendy affair I doubt if labour would be stupid enough to declare any company associated with PFI. Then again ...

subrosa said...

I think the SNP do try to get that message across Dean, but yes, they have to continue to shout it from the rooftops.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Several companies involved in PFI have been fined for engaging in price-fixing. The money, by the way, is not factored into the calculations of national indebtedness, which is convenient.

The cost of servicing the debt on Hospital PFI schemes is £500 million annually.


Some of these schemes have gone bust, causing the tax payer to stump up the cost of a bail out, as happened to a school in East Lothian.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

A lot of the PFI contracts will be with the same banks or their offshoots who have had to be bailed out of failure.

So we should simply offset our PFI liability to them against their indebtedness to us set at today's recessionary market valuation.

Then with £27.7bn back in the hand, Scotland can get on with its life but it would need to be independent to set this in motion.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

£500 m per annum for hospital PFI schemes?

Bad enough, but pales to insignificance against the £181 million per day paid by the people of the UK on credit interest!

subrosa said...

Ah WW, you've saved my sanity! When I was writing this I looked everywhere for that post of yours, but couldn't remember which blog it was. Problem solved. :)

Many thanks.

subrosa said...

Somewhere there is a list of the backers RA. I'll see if I can find it again. Came across it when I was looking for the explanation of PPP and PFI.

Yes, we would have to be independent.

That is another subject the credit interest. Possibly deserves a post of its own. A frightening sum yet people are still buying on credit. Will they never learn?

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

On the contrary Rosa, its all intermeshed and mangled together like re-formed meat.

It would take a global sea change and blue sky thinking to get the attitudes of people and governments to balance the cost of what they're getting to the value of its real worth.

But some things are worth remembering - all contracts are open to re-negotiation - no lawyer yet has drawn up a completely watertight contract - and changes in situations, such as these caused by the financial meltdown can be an opening to renegotiation.

You don't keep paying the rent when you've bought the house?

Mark MacLachlan said...

I think you're right to criticise the Scottish Future's Trust, nearly three years on, where is it, what is it and how much cheaper will it be?

subrosa said...

Maybe that's a reason why the SFt is taking so long to get off the ground RA although I know that's a poor excuse.

I'd like to think the SG is trying to renegotiate as I'm sure you would.

subrosa said...

Hi Mark. They've been very quiet on this and I've banged on about that. Your (and my) questions haven't been asked.

My friends bring this up now and again and that shows it does matter to those who don't vote SNP.

Long past time it was sorted.

Mark MacLachlan said...

There is an element of Emperor's New Clothes about the SFT and Wee Eck's revelation that it will be the answer to all our ails.

It's pretty obvious that as we hurtle headlong deeper into this recession, the cheap money markets of yesterday no longer exist, it was a good idea pre-election, grow a pair and tell the people we can't do it any longer thanks to Labour's mismanagement of the economy. Instead, as somebody above suggests start getting government lawyers to find ways to ease some of the utterly insane profits to PFI companies that Labour signed up to.

I take it you've joined the Robin Hood tax on Bankers?

WV Whodomic

wisnaeme said...

...and on this subject ah'll be stirring it along with other like minded folk on national meja, come Monday next.

...and did simeone mention New Labour pork barreling?

Uh Huh, one particularcretinous runt of that ilk is not going to be a happy chappie with revelations, chapter and verse exposure in his patch and on his watch, that's for sure :)

subrosa said...

I think folks would respect a bit of openness about SFT Mark.

As for the bankers and tax, I haven't given it much thought. Suppose I should really.

subrosa said...

Oh wisnaeme, you have me intrigued.

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