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Hot potato waffle


Cathy McGlynn of the PPP Forum (NCE last week) seems to be long on warm words and assertions about the possible benefits of the government's Private Finance Initiative (PFI) but rather short on evidence and facts.

When it comes to value for money, why does she not mention the hospitals where PFI is bringing higher costs and fewer beds, or the Skye Bridge, where the PFI contractor charges motorists more per mile than any other length of road in the world?

When it comes holding failing contractors to account, why does she not mention PFI disasters like the Siemens takeover of the passport system or the ICL Libra project to computerise the courts which was 'postponed indefinitely' after costing the public £319M If, as she claims, there is 'no doubt' that PFI projects are delivered more quickly, why does she not mention the London Underground fiasco, where investment and improvements which should - and could - have been started long ago are still stalled because of the government's dogmatic insistence on trying to turn them into a PFI scheme?

A N Beal (M), 10 King George Avenue, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 4LH

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