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Public will have to pay £220bn for PFI until 2040, NAO calculates

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 22 January 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k273
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. London

The UK’s main public spending watchdog has calculated that the public will have to pay almost £200bn for private finance initiative (PFI) schemes until the 2040s.

A new National Audit Office report looks at PFI contracts in all sectors and PF2, the successor introduced during David Cameron’s premiership as an improved form of public-private financing deals.1 The NAO calculated that even if no new deals were entered into, future charges, which will continue into the 2040s, amounted to £199bn (€225bn; £275bn).

Because of the extra costs attached to PFI schemes—such as a higher cost of finance, insurance, fees for external advisers, and the cost of producing and auditing accounts—overall cash spending on PFI and PF2 projects was higher than …

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