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PFI: Treasury must spell out how schemes benefit public purse, says MPs’ report

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2737 (Published 21 June 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2737
  1. Jonathan Owen
  1. London

Private finance initiative (PFI) schemes that are used to fund the building of hospitals and other infrastructure are not in the taxpayer’s interest, and the Treasury is unable to show that they provide value for money, a committee of MPs has said.

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee said in its report,1 “It is unacceptable that after more than 25 years the Treasury still has no data on benefits to show whether the PFI model provides value for money.”

PFI is a way of getting infrastructure built by getting commercial companies to pay the costs up front. It results in repayments and associated charges for things such as maintenance, in contracts that typically run for decades and have proved to be an increasing burden on the NHS. …

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