“SNP insist Labour apologise for ‘staggering’ PFI bill after it breaks £1billion barrier” – The Daily Record

The cost of repaying privately funded public building construction broke the £1billion barrier for the first time last year.

The huge sum covers PFI schemes favoured by the previous Scottish Labour-led administration, including schools and hospitals.

The SNP campaigned against the funding model but Labour said the new system is the same with a different badge.

Total PFI charges rose from £924million in 2012-13 to £1billion in 2016-17.

When the SNP’s preferred non-profit distribution scheme is included, the charges increased by £117million last year.

The SNP said Labour and the Lib Dems, who held the reins at Holyrood from 1999 to 2007, should apologise.

Ash Denham, an SNP MSP on Holyrood’s finance committee, said: “The scale of PFI repayments are now absolutely staggering.

“Deals like the PFI contracts for schools across Scotland, recently revealed as costing the public purse £426million this year alone, will leave taxpayers paying way over the odds for years to come.

“Many of the buildings weren’t even built to basic standards, causing serious safety concerns and school closures across Edinburgh.”

Labour’s Jackie Baillie defended her party’s record, saying: “Despite campaigning for years to abolish PFI, the SNP have carried this on under a different name and have made an absolute mess of it. In fact, there is now more involvement from the private sector than ever before.

“Labour won’t apologise for building schools and hospitals which desperately needed investment.”

This article originally appeared in The Daily Record.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s