CBI slams 'waste' of scrapped PFIs

1 November 2007
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01 November 2007

Suppliers are wasting money bidding for PFI deals that are later cancelled, the CBI has said.

In a speech last week, Neil Bentley, the CBI's director of public services, said that all too often politicians gave private assurances regarding PFI plans, which were "not reflected by very public cancellations or postponements."

Recently scrapped PFI deals include a £100 million Scottish prison contract and a £700 million hospital upgrade in Leicester. "The government should not think private assurances are enough for companies laying their future on the line," Bentley said. "The termination of projects does not just damage confidence: it means the money spent on bidding is wasted. The burden of this falls on the public purse as well as on shareholders."

Bentley also criticised the fact that while PFI deals worth nearly £57 billion had been signed since 1992, the government's 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review devoted only "two paragraphs" to PFI plans.


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