MP welcomes PFI savings

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MARK Pawsey MP has welcomed a Government announcement which will save £1.5bn from the Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

The PFI projects are public sector projects such as roads and hospitals that are contracted out to private firms, who are paid for the work over many decades. Dubiously, despite public money being used to fund the projects, all financial data is commercially sensitive, so nobody knows the full cost of projects which include University Hospital in Coventry.

The Government say all of the money saved will go towards front-line services. The announcement comes after a series of forensic investigations by Treasury experts into PFI contracts including at the Queens Hospital in Romford.

Mr Pawsey is part of the PFI Rebate campaign of more than 80 MPs, from all three major parties, who have been calling for savings on the PFI.

Speaking after the announcement Mark said: “I am delighted by this news. Our target of £1bn has been significantly exceeded. The government has listened and taken our campaign very seriously. This announcement will mean real savings for Rugby residents and patients and a real improvement in our local public services.”

The PFI was started under John Major’s Tory Government but embraced and rapidly expanded during the Labour Government years between 1997 and 2010.

Mr Pawsey added: “The actions announced by the Government are deliberately cautious; they are a long-term solution to a long-term problem. This kind of detailed forensic work may not be glamorous, but it is vital if we are to clear up the economic mess left by the last Labour Government.”