La disgrazia del project financing: il BMJ continua nella sua posizione critica.

Matthew Billingsley, Editorial Assistant for doc2doc and specialty portals, modera un Forum su Doc2Doc del BMJ, intitolato “The disgrace that is PFI”.

Ecco un estratto!

Uno stimolo del moderatore:

Here’s a paper from Allyson Pollock. Page 13 and accompanying text lays out the facts after a FoI request.”As Figure 1 shows, the upfront capital expenditure relating to PFI schemes signed as of 30 November 2006 was £8.3 billion, whereas NHS spending commitments amount to more than £52 billion. Payments to be made by the NHS will therefore be around six times greater than the upfront capital cost to the private sector.

Due commenti:

Scheherazade: I met Allyson Pollock in a meeting about that time. She was the only voice in opposition to PFI, and has stuck to her guns ever since – but no-one listened for years.  I put a motion to my BMA division in 1996 against PFI biut was told “no-one understood it” so it did not go forward.
There was a public conspiracy of business interests which carried it through, and they will undoubtedly do the same with other private plans with the new Health bill

skyesteve: Nearly 20 years ago I was vigorously outspoken about the use of PFI to build new hospitals in the UK. I told anyone that would listen that this would cost the NHS a fortune and they would still be left, at the end of the initial deals, with hospitals they didn’t actually own. To my mind, what was going on was close to criminal extortion.

Finally, in 2011, our political masters finally woke up to the facts and a committee of MPs said the “long-term expense of PFI deals – where the private sector shoulders the upfront cost and is typically repaid by the tax payer over a 30-year period – were now much higher than more conventional forms of borrowing”. They went on to say “We believe that a financial model that routinely finds in favour of the PFI route, after the significant increases in finance costs in the wake of the financial crisis is unlikely to be fundamentally sound. We do not believe that PFI can be relied upon to provide good value for money without substantial reform.”

A subsequent report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee in May this year said

that “in many cases investors had made “eye-wateringly high” profits, with taxpayers trapped in expensive and inflexible contracts for which they are ultimately liable”.

Now we have a healthcare trust in England effectively going bust because of PFI. The South London Trust currently pays out £62 milion per annum interest on two new hospitals built 10 years ago and they have to continue paying until 2032!

In 1992 it was as clear as the Emperor’s new clothes that PFI would be a disaster for the tax payer and an enormous pocket liner for big business and finance. And, although I get no satifsfaction for saying it, to those who didn’t listen to me 20 years ago – I told you so!

Post scriptum:

Il 29 ottobre 2011 avevo pubblicato un commento sui “classici” interventi sul project financing di Richard Smith, quand’era Editor del BMJ: ricordiamo che definiva la project financing initiative (PFI) come “PFI: Perfidious Financial Idiocy. A free lunch that could destroy the NHS”

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