PFI doesn’t provide value for money, says survey

Unison
has renewed its call for an independent inquiry into the use of Private Finance
Initiatives in delivering public services following a survey of accountants
showing a majority did not think PFI was providing value for money.

The
survey by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants reveals more than
half the respondents did not believe PFI provided value for money. Public
sector organisations were prevented from achieving value for money as PFI was
the only investment option they were given.

More
than half also thought it would be cheaper to build new schools and hospitals
through public funding, and only one in seven felt that PFI schemes were
objectively tested.

Unison’s
general secretary Dave Prentis said: "The chorus of disapproval over PFI is
growing. Accountants have joined the National Audit Office, Audit Scotland, the
Kings Fund, Building Futures, the Institute of Fiscal Studies, the Commission
for Architecture and the Built Environment, and the House of Commons Public
Accounts Committee in expressing serious doubts.

"If
the public sector was allowed to borrow from itself to build schools and
hospitals, it would cost far less than PFI. Accountants working in the public
sector agree.

"If
the Government is so sure of its argument, it must come clean and show that PFI
is providing value for money. The review would establish that once and for
all."

By Ben Willmott

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