By Matthew Barrett
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In a new report – After PFI - released yesterday by the Centre for Policy Studies, Jesse Norman MP has advocated the abolition of PFI, and its replacement with a new model of public sector procurement. Norman, the MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, sits on the Treasury Select Committee, and set up the PFI Rebate Campaign in 2010, which led Tim Montgomerie to label him "the £1.5bn backbencher", after the expected public savings from the campaign.
After PFI shows that PFI has been one of the costliest experiments in public policy-making, causing more than £200 billion of public debt – the equivalent of £8,000 for every household in the country.
Amongst the detailed recommendations in the report are:
- Placing all past and future liabilities on the government balance sheet as soon as practicable
- Establishing a new central unit across government to monitor all PFI-style projects, to advise on best practice, to educate actual and potential public sector clients on contract management, and to generate greater “shared client power”
- Far greater transparency of existing and future contracts, and of costs to the public sector within contracts
- Mandatory disclosure to government of data on secondary market transactions
Tim Knox, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, comments:
“The extraordinary cost and opacity of PFI under New Labour must never be allowed to happen again. Over £200 billion of new infrastructure is needed over the next decade. We cannot afford to get it so wrong again.”
The full paper can be downloaded here.