A recent report from Stirling Council has detailed the lifetime cost of PFI/PPP contracts between 2016/17 and 2038/39 (when they expire) to be £385.9 million. The Draft Annual Audit Report 2015-16 has set out in stark terms how much of a financial burden these contracts are to the Stirling taxpayer – pointing out that they cost £14.1 million in the last financial year alone.
During the meeting of the Audit Committee on Thursday (1st Sept), the SNP’s Councillor Jim Thomson pointed out:
“Inflation is at an all-time low, yet we are seeing the interest on these contracts increasing with more financial liability burdening Council financial resources.”
Stirling’s MP Steven Paterson has blasted the forecasts, he said:
“Labour’s toxic PFI/PPP legacy is set to burden Stirling taxpayers for another twenty-two years, costing an obscene £386 million on top of what has already been paid.
“Earlier this year, Balfron High School – a PFI project – showed signs of serious structural deficiencies which resulted in the school being closed for a number of weeks. As well as raising serious questions about risks to health and safety for pupils and staff, this brought further inconvenience when pupils were relocated whilst repair works had to take place.”
SNP Group Leader on Stirling Council, Councillor Scott Farmer added:
“This is a gargantuan amount of money to have taken from precious Council resources. The Tories invented PFI and Labour continued to champion these contracts. The total bill will cost the Stirling taxpayer at least £15 million every year for the next two decades – money that would be better spent vital services such as social care, roads maintenance, and education.
“It is high time Labour and the Tories owned up to their mistakes and apologised for their credit card economics.”