Tag Archives: PFI corruption exposed

The killer argument against PFI

We have always known that PFI was a con trick (i) to take construction and management costs of hospitals and other public buildings offline so they don’t appear in the national accounts, and (ii) to secure the extremely lucrative privatisation of yet another public service at taxpayers’ expense.   But the evidence of how the new outsourced authorities manipulated this fiddle has not hitherto been made so blatantly transparent as in the latest case to come to light.   Six months ago the Treasury approved a PFI for the £360m Midland Metropolitan hospital in Birmingham.   As a result the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust will be forced to pay out £18m for 30 years, i.e. £540m in total – an extremely bad deal for taxpayers.   So how was it ever justified in the first place?   Answer: the NHS Trust Development Authority, that is the hospital’s regulator, opined that “income growth assumptions are significant”.   With the NHS in its near-bankrupt state plus the intention to move care out of hospitals over time, this is not just a heroic assumption, it’s fantasy.
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