Responding to the Public Accounts Committee report stating that public services ‘face serious disruptions’ as private finance initiatives (PFI) end, Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said:  

 “Over decades, private finance initiatives have provided a vehicle for spivs and speculators to thoroughly and unscrupulously rinse the taxpayer of cash. 

“These same companies cannot now be allowed to get away with letting infrastructure and services go to rack and ruin, safe in the knowledge that the state will pick up the bill when the contract ends. 

“The government and other public bodies must listen to the Public Accounts Committee and take appropriate action. It would be a travesty if naked corporate irresponsibility and greed were allowed to disrupt vital health or education services, which the committee warns is a distinct possibility.

“Ultimately, the lesson of the wasted billions from PFI has to be that the auctioning off of public services and infrastructure to the lowest private sector bidder does not save money or improve standards. As the Carillion disaster demonstrated, the exact opposite is true.” 


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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.