The Private Finance Initiative: Nationalise the Special Purpose Vehicles and end profiteering from public assets
A proposal by People vs Barts PFI
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7 December, 2015
Using PFIs as a means of financing public services has resulted in blatant profiteering and has imposed unsustainable levels of debt on the public bodies these schemes were supposed to benefit.
We propose that the response to the problems of PFI should be to challenge the PFI model in its entirety, by nationalising the companies – known as ‘Special Purpose Vehicles’ – through which PFI contracts operate. In this way we would be taking back control over public assets from private financial companies and so eliminating them as a source of securitisation and hence of debt creation and profit.
About this paper
This paper has been developed through the work of People vs Barts PFI, Drop the NHS Debt and through discussions with researchers and campaigners on PFI. Our discussions have focused on PFI in hospitals but the principles and proposals which we outline in this paper apply to all PFI projects.
Thanks to Dexter Whitfield (Director of European Services Strategy Unit and Adjunct Associate Professor, Australian Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre) for his advice in drawing this proposal together, and to Dr Helen Mercer of the University of Greenwich for drafting this paper.