The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Mike Russell MSP, has confirmed that PFI payments have mortgaged the future of our children. Answering a question in Parliament by George Adam – it was confirmed that this year alone Renfrewshire will make a PFI payment of £15 million, enough to build a brand new school every year. This comes as a back drop of Renfrewshire Council’s plans to close schools throughout the local authority.
Speaking on the revelation, George said:
‘These payments that we as tax payers have to make are clearly not value for money. You don’t have to take my word for it you can listen to the Treasury Committee of Westminster for confirmation.
‘This year alone a payment of £15 million will be made with this amount increasing every year, receiving nothing in return.
‘Excessive profits have been made by the private sector with PFI contracts, mistakes have been made.
‘I agree with the Cabinet Secretary that before closing schools in Renfrewshire the Convenor of Education in the council should ensure that parents are informed of the £15 million they spend getting absolutely nothing in return. That’s £15 million every year for 30 years. That’s a pay day loan on a level that is incomprehensible to most people.’
Renfrewshire Council SNP Group Leader Brian Lawson commented, ‘What makes matters worse is that some of these schools, built and run for profit by the private sector, each costing nearly a million pounds each and every year, are running at just over 50% capacity. Renfrewshire Labour are paying vast amounts of money for empty classrooms’.