Aug 27, 2011 – Given last week’s Treasury select committee report (pdf) condemning PFIs, this should’ve been a national headline. According to treasury figures, taxpayers will spend £229 billion on PFI projects that cost contractors only £56 billion.
From today’s Yorkshire Post front page (our bold emphasis):
“MORE than £4bn-worth of huge public works projects are to be signed off by Yorkshire’s local authorities this year using a now-discredited financing system despite condemnation from MPs who say taxpayers are being “ripped off”.
“Treasury figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show the region already owes more than £6bn for schemes funded via the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), a Government-backed way of using private firms to build and run public buildings […]
“Last week a hard-hitting report by the Treasury select committee concluded PFI deals offer “poor value for money” and can typically cost up to 40 per cent more than if they been funded with normal public borrowing. Successive Governments now stand accused of “cooking the books” by using PFI to keep major new infrastructure projects off their balance sheet, so artificially reducing official debt figures – all the time knowing it would ultimately cost taxpayers billions of pounds more.”