Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/373/6102
From The Socialist newspaper, 4 December 2004
Private hands off public services
PRIVATE FINANCE Initiative (PFI) deals have always been extremely
profitable for private contractors. But recent reports show what a bad deal
it's been for public services such as the NHS and how much greedy private
companies use it to fill up their coffers.
Look at hospital building. The Norfolk and Norwich (N&N) Hospital was
rebuilt under the PFI. It was supposed to cost £229 million but the full price
has now been calculated at £1.16 billion over the 35 years of N&N's contract
with private consortium Octagon Healthcare.
Stories like this have convinced the Association of Chartered Certified
Accountants (ACCA) that PFI schemes cost health trusts more than any other
former government schemes. The ACCA report looked into N&N and 12 other
Now the National Audit Office (NAO) want to look more closely at how many
PFI projects are being sold off between contractors, yielding huge profits.
PFI schemes worth a capital value of £32 billion are now up and running and
PFI investments worth some £700 million have been bought and sold since 1999,
mostly over the past two years. All this profit goes to the fat-cat
capitalists while the public sector - the source of these profits - gets
nothing except their old rip-off deal.
The NAO suggests some form of windfall tax on such profits. But the
government disagrees with even this minor palliative. New Labour say that PFI
is the only show in town - that there is no alternative.
Unions in the NHS and other public services must fight for the abolition of
the PFI and similar privatisation methods. We need public services fully
funded from taxation that can provide good quality care to everyone.
These new reports show that the NHS would save enormous sums of money by
ditching PFI, and ending the building contractors' profiteering. We should
make sure that the PFI profiteers pay for the growing funding problems of the
NHS, not the patients and staff who carry the can at present.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
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In The Socialist 4 December 2004:
Private hands off public services
Pre-budget statement: Workers will pay for economic failure
NHS not safe in Labour's hands
Blair's election strategy threatens democratic rights
No top-up fees
Fighting fund Christmas appeal
International socialist news and analysis
Ukraine: Neither Yanukovych or Yuschenko
Socialist Party councillor elected in Australia
Iraq election crisis
Committee for a Workers' International: Building the forces of socialism worldwide
Socialist Party workplace news
UNISON general secretary election: A fighting programme to defend pensions
Save the Jag! Renationalise Jaguar to save jobs
Brighton teaching assistants fight council attacks
DWP needs more experienced staff, not less
The Socialist 4 December 2004 |
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