Think tank unveils its public finance scheme- The Courier


The Courier, 16 October 2009

The report states that under PFI, money to fund projects is borrowed at higher rates, but with the risk remaining with the taxpayer, who is left to count the cost when there is a default in the contract.

The report recommends a number of ways in which public sector borrowing can be achieved at a reduced overall cost.

While one depends on the Scottish Government being giving increased borrowing powers, another is to set up a Scottish infrastructure bank from which money could be borrowed at the local level on behalf of the Scottish Government.

While Barry White, chief executive of the SFT, said he welcomed any contribution to the debate, he added, "At SFT we have to seek value within the existing rules and regulations…we have to focus on what\’s deliverable today."

A Scottish Government spokesman said, "We will always look for ways of adding value to infrastructure investment to protect the interests of taxpayers and help us build facilities fit for 21st-century Scotland."

A scheme to finance and manage major public projects was unveiled by Reform Scotland yesterday in a report.  In Power to Build, it said its Scottish Capital Partnerships (SCP) would replace the \’flawed\’ Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and \’redefine\’ the role of the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT).