Blair defends PFI schemes but vows to end two-tier workforce

Tony
Blair has told unions he will not be moved by union calls for an independent
review of using private money for public services.

Speaking
at the Labour Party conference in Blackpool, the Prime Minister defended
private finance initiatives and stood firm – saying investment was needed and
PFI was the way to do it.

"I
am not going to go to parents and children and patients in my constituency or
any other and say: ‘I’m sorry because there is an argument over PFI we’re going
to put these projects on hold’," he said.

"They
don’t care who builds them, so long as they’re on cost, on budget, and helping
to deliver a better NHS and better schools."

Blair
promised trade unions he would work with them to end the two-tier workforce if
they worked with the Government on the best way of delivering service.

Using
private finance was not a betrayal of public services, but a renewal, he
insisted.

By Quentin Reade

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