Rona Mackay: Labour must apologise to public for disaster PFI schemes

Rona Mackay: Labour must apologise to public for disaster PFI schemes

RESEARCH has shown duff PFI deals made by Labour while they were in power at Holyrood continue to rip off the public.

An independent study by the Scottish Parliament Information and Research Centre (SPICe) says the East Dunbartonshire Schools project will cost £14.4 million this year.

It follows the former Labour government a decade ago making deals where corporations walked away with huge sums of money for building schools and public facilities.

From 2007 to 2009, six secondary schools were constructed around the local authority area by Morgan Sindall, which the public are paying “significantly more than they are worth” over 30 years.

The situation is echoed across Scotland where the duff deals will cost the public purse £430 million this year alone.

Rona Mackay, MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, said: “PFI schemes have been described as ‘wealth machines’ for private corporations. Thanks to the Labour Party, we are tied into decades worth of toxic legacy payments due to botched deals, where the companies gain significantly more than what the projects were worth.

“Every day, the SNP government fights off Tory austerity to protect the people of Scotland from extreme budget cuts. At the same time, Labour politicians carp from the sidelines at the SNP’s record, while knowing we are mitigating the scandalous deals they set up just 10 years ago.

“It shows clearly why the Labour Party’s reputation has crumbled in recent years, with more and more people becoming angry at mismanagement of public finances by their politicians.

“I call upon the Labour Party to issue an apology to the public as we once again see the true effect these PFI schemes have on our national finances.”

PFIs are agreements in which companies fund the construction of buildings and creation of infrastructure, such as roads and IT systems, which are then effectively leased to the public sector in contracts which can run for decades.

The private sector makes a profit out of unitary charges – a combination of loan repayments and fees for services, such as property maintenance.
ENDS
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