UNISONScotland www
This is our archive website that is no longer being updated.
For the new website please go to
Click here
Home News About us Join Us Contacts Help Resources Learning Links UNISON UK

STUC 2008



PFI costing £2 billion more than public funding

by Kate Ramsden

Bob Revie
Bob Revie

Congress will press the Scottish Government to use the Scotland Act to end PFI and to review existing contracts. It also called on the government to award grants for capital projects on the basis of a level playing field, regardless of how they will be funded, and to give health boards prudential borrowing powers.

UNISON Scotland's Bob Revie told congress of UNISON's work on the true cost of PFI detailed in the report, At What Cost? which shows that PFI contracts could be costing around £2.1 billion more than conventional funding of new schools and hospitals.

"UNISON Scotland's analysis of 35 PFI schemes showed that public sector comparators were on average 6.4% cheaper. This means that for these 35 schemes alone £720 million is being wasted - nearly enough to pay the whole PFI bill for Wishaw General Hospital," said Bob. "On top of that an incredible £3.5 billion "insurance" policy is paid to the private sector to cover the risk of things going wrong with the contract."

On a brighter note, STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith welcomed the announcement by the First Minister Alex Salmond that the new Southern Hospital in Glasgow will be entirely publicly funded at a cost of £842 million.

Grahame said, "This announcement by the First Minister is a clear endorsement of the STUC's view that PFI and other finance models for public sector projects are flawed. We have consistently argued for public funding for projects such as the Southern Hospitals to provide value for money for Scotland. We are delighted that the Government have now reached the same conclusion. "

But he warned, "whilst welcoming this announcement we hope, expect and will continue to campaign for this form of funding for public sector projects to become the norm."

Bob Revie expressed UNISON's disappointment that despite their manifesto commitment to get rid of PFI the SNP government had set up the Scottish Futures Trust, which has been slammed as "PFI Lite!"

See http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/response/sftresponsemarch08.html for a Scottish Futures Response from UNISON Scotland

top | STUC Index