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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 July 2012

LOOTED! PFI empties NHS coffers

Scrap PFI privatisation - bring health services back into the NHS

Roger Shrives
Fight for our NHS, photo Senan

Fight for our NHS, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

The richest 1% in society are the only people profiting from the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme that is ruining Britain's public services.

PFI entrusts the building of much-needed services such as hospitals and schools to private construction firms and banks including the now notorious Barclays.

These capitalists then own the buildings for many years and get rewarded with massive sums of interest repayment. And the rewards are huge!

The Guardian reports that 717 PFI contracts have so far been agreed by Tory, Labour and Con-Dem governments.

They had a total capital value of 54.7 billion but by the time they are paid off taxpayers (that's us) will have shelled out 300 billion to these wealthy capitalists.

These repayments are likely to balloon up, taking an even higher percentage of spending (and also raising the risk of bankruptcies) for another five or six years.

In the NHS, this is all on top of the 20 billion of 'efficiency' savings the government is demanding by 2015.

If 'efficiency' rather than private profit was really the Con-Dem government's aim, PFI schemes would be its number one target.

The price tag for the new Walsgrave hospital in Coventry will jump from an initial capital cost of 379 million to an eventual 4 billion.

Health expert Allyson Pollock says that far from being a hospital building programme, PFI has been the largest NHS hospital and bed closure programme.

It is associated with a 30% reduction in beds, redundancies of staff, closures of A&E departments - even of whole hospitals - and of many specialist services.

The Socialist Party opposed PFI schemes from the start but Tory, Labour and Con-Dem governments all backed them to the hilt.

What have we, the 99% of Britain's population, got out of them? Toxic debts, bankrupt health trusts, cuts and closures.

But the 1% richest in society, speculators and PFI gamblers, have got huge incomes from rent, interest and profit for decades.

Governments can bail out the banks who caused much of the present economic crisis. But Cameron and Co want to leave the NHS and other public services to hang out to dry. PFI is now hitting hospital services hard, so action is needed.

We say:

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In The Socialist 11 July 2012:

Socialist Party NHS campaign

LOOTED! PFI empties NHS coffers

Fight Profit From Illness

Save Worcestershire A&E services

Socialist Party editorial

Libor scandal exposes rotten racketeering system

Lords reform - Abolish the House of privilege!

Save our server!

Youth Fight for Jobs and Education feature

Fight for a future for the 99%

The politics of fighting the racist EDL

Pride should be about protest, not profits!


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Build the fightback against the Con-Dems: Join the lobby of the TUC on 9 September

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Vote no to the local government pension offer

Workplace news in brief

International socialist news and analysis

Egypt: Will Mursi's presidential election victory bring real change?

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TV Review: Britain on the brink - back to the '70s

The Shard: As useless as a hole in the ground

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