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WHAT IS PFI? Since 1992 and to the present day the Private Finance Initiative (“PFI”) has been used to finance and operate public sector projects. Under PFI, the Government takes out a loan through a private company (a “PFI Company”) who then build and manage a project. The PFI Company then charges the public sector a repayment fee each year for the loan and any services they provide. There are now 700 PFI projects around the UK including for schools, hospitals, prisons and motorways. There is now a compelling body of evidence that the costs of these deals outweigh the […]
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A Smith Institute report recently set out a “progressive” programme to reset the relationship between government and the private sector when delivering public services. The report recommends introducing new accountability requirements for private contractors – such as the need for open book accounting and for the introduction of profit caps. These are viable proposals for ensuring that future government to business contracting prioritises the public interest and places business under a duty to adhere to the same levels of accountability as public bodies. It recognises that the government has the ability and, some may say, the duty to impose requirements on companies […]
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Following the collapse of Carillion comes an authoritative judgement by the National Audit Office that – it uses accountancy speak but the message is clear – the Private Finance Initiative has been a gigantic rip off. The nostrums of New Public Management stand exposed. The mantra “private good, public bad” sounds like it always was a pro-market ideology that has dominated British public life for over three decades. Public services in England (and to varying extents in other parts of the UK) have been stigmatised and eviscerated not just by austerity but by the enforcement of market-inflected doctrine, especially New […]
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What is the basis for imposing a windfall tax on PFI operators? The NHS is currently in the most austere decade of funding growth in its 69-year history and is facing an unprecedented funding gap of up to £34bn over the 5-year period to 2020/21. With planners facing the unenviable task of rationing care, questions have been raised about areas of NHS funding where savings could be made without affecting patient care. A recent CHPI report found that over the past 6 years PFI companies made pre-tax profits of £831m and are estimated to make profits of almost £1bn over the next 5 years. This led to calls for […]
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The case against PFI grows stronger as the repayment costs rise, NHS finances deteriorate, and international interest rates fall. There is an alternative. PFI is sometimes seen as yesterday’s battle. For over 20 years, capital funding for major public service schemes has been available predominantly only through PFI. Contracts have been tendered, partners selected, and the schools, hospitals, and prisons built. Even many on the left now view PFI as a given. Passim Allyson Pollock’s and John Lister’s excellent work on this subject, what is left to say? The most recent data for NHS PFI schemes should remind us why […]
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No matter who wins the General Election, the next government will have to deal with the growing cost of inflexible PFI contracts. Those contracts make the task of balancing the books much more difficult. Under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), the private sector designs, builds and finances much needed new hospitals, schools, roads, prisons and other social and public infrastructure. It also provides the ancillary services – such as cleaning and security, but not the core professional services such as nursing – for typically 15 to 35 years, in return for an annual fee that covers both the capital cost […]
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The Private Finance Initiative is in the news again as Barts with a huge PFI hits financial trouble. The total cost of all PFI schemes in the NHS is £2bn.  Around £1bn of that is payments for facilities management services.  The total expenditure of the NHS is £110bn. If all PFIs were somehow “nationalised” there would still be facilities management costs, repairs and renewals but perhaps they could be provided in house less expensively.  So perhaps £1.3bn could be “saved”. The possibility of simply nationalising all the PFIs is remote (to say the least) – it would require all kinds […]
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PFI – The Biggest Scam You’ve Never Heard Of You’d never be able to tell from the outside, but hundreds of our hospitals, schools, prisons roads and even homes are no longer controlled by us, the people. Why? Because politicians have given away our public buildings to private companies – only to have us rent them back at extortionate cost. Our money is making these tax-avoiding corporations rich, while we end up losing frontline services. This is what they mean by the Private Finance Initiative (PFI). PFI – Doesn’t Make Sense Every year PFI costs us £10 billion – more than the […]
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There is a widespread consensus about the challenges which face our care system.  There is a growing consensus that we need to focus more on avoidance and prevention, on behaviour and culture and on things like integrated whole person care and on community development – less on organisations and structures – no more reorganisations. Yet there is a persistent background noise that claims that PFI, private provision, and the cost of the market are what is wrong and that full public provision is the solution. Some PFI contracts offer very poor value for money showing the “experts” that advised the […]
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The pharmacists’ defence association and trade union, PDA, is to urge the NHS to develop its strategy for the delivery of the second vaccination in good time and to give the role of the second vaccination of the Astra Zeneca vaccine to the national community pharmacy network as part of a collaborative and integrated NHS process. The decision to delay the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccination to twelve weeks so that the current efforts can concentrate on giving as many people as possible a first dose of the vaccine has already resulted in more than 6 million first vaccinations […]
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HIV i-Base continue to report on COVID-19 vaccination and treatment. The Q&A service on the i-Base website has been answering many questions about coronavirus vaccinations. Please see this new question: Are animal products in the COVID vaccines? Are they Halal? https://i-base.info/qa/16668 Answer: The vaccines are safe and recommended if you are Muslim. There are no animal products in the Pfizer, Moderna or Oxford vaccines. There are also no traces of pig products or egg products. These vaccines are all Halal safe. The video in the i-Base link above is from Imam Yunus having the vaccine at Newham Hospital in East London. […]
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