Date: 12 July 2004
UNISON welcomes commitment to public services and
urges adoption of PFI changes in Scotland
UNISON , Scotland's largest
union, today welcomed the Chancellor's continued commitment to investment in Scotland's
public services, and also urged that new Treasury guidelines on PFI credit arrangements
be adopted in Scotland.
But the union warned that the increases in funding
for housing should be available for council housing as well as to fund stock transfer.
Dave Watson, UNISON's Scottish Organiser for Policy said "The Chancellor's continuing
commitment to fund public services is welcome, although we will need to examine
the consequential figure for Scotland and the use the Scottish Executive makes
of that money. We also want to see that the extra money provided to housing goes
to council housing instead of being used as a bribe for stock transfer."
welcome the change to the PFI credit arrangements in England which will go some
way to creating a level playing field in funding capital projects instead of coercing
public services to choose PFI, and we will be urging the Scottish Government to
adopt a similar scheme, vas previously recommended by Audit Scotland."
authorities currently receive larger credits for their PFI schemes than for other
kinds of capital investment, which provides a strong incentive to use PFI. Treasury
guidelines suggest that this is set to change - ensuring similar subsidies could
be provided for more efficient public borrowing.
Dave Watson said "If this
were applied across Scottish public services, savings could be made in the extra
£5.8bn the government is wasting paying for the added costs of PFI."
also warned that job cuts threaten public service delivery.
delivering them and the Government are only too aware how stretched key public
He said. "Low pay and staffing resources - especially in
areas like social work, health care, etc.- must be addressed if public service
revitalisation is to be delivered."
For Further Information
Please Contact: Dave Watson (Scottish Organiser - Policy) - 0845 355 0845(o)
07787 558 410(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771