Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 June 2014

Them & Us

PFI profit machine

Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes in the NHS, schools, councils, etc, are notorious for being a gigantic rip-off of the public purse. Introduced by the Tories and rapidly expanded under Labour, PFI schemes are simply a license to print money for big business.

In the latest twist to this public finance disaster, companies have been selling on their original 25+ years' contracts - a practice known as "flipping" - after only a few years, allowing them to make huge financial gains. Four such companies - Balfour Beatty, Carrillion, Interserve and Kier - alone have made profits in excess of 300 million from flipping.

Moreover, many of these contracts are being bought up by front companies based in offshore tax havens. So while profits are going offshore to avoid corporation tax many health trusts are being driven to the wall by crippling PFI service charges.

Chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, Labour MP Margaret Hodge, admitted Labour's multi-billion pound 'error'. "I'm afraid we got it wrong. I was a supporter at the time but I have completely gone off the whole concept. We got seduced by PFI", she said.

Ukip scoundrel

'Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel'. The Samuel Johnson adage fits well the behaviour of care home provider businessman and Wales Ukip MEP Nathan Gill. This odious xenophobe while railing against immigration is, it seems, quite happy to exploit migrant workers to benefit his business.

Gill is cited as charging workers from Poland and the Philippines 50 a week out of 200-300 weekly wages for "bunkhouse" accommodation. He lamely defends this rip-off saying: "I wish I had that proportion of spending money left after paying my mortgage". As an afterthought Gill said: "I can see how this could look bad"!

Big six rip-off

Toothless energy 'watchdog' Ofgem has pointed out that the 'big six' energy suppliers in the UK are expected to more than double their profits this year to 96 for every dual-fuel energy customer as a result of falling wholesale prices.

Industry fat cats are always vocal in regurgitating the argument of rising wholesale prices to justify ramping up customer prices, but they are silent when world energy prices tumble. The Tories, unsurprisingly, as champions of the 'free market,' have also kept their heads down as they kowtow to the big six.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has said an incoming Labour government would freeze energy prices for 20 months. Hey Ed, why not reduce prices? But that would require public ownership of the industry which pro-big business Labour won't consider.

Child poverty

As reported in the Socialist last week millions of children in Britain will be condemned to poverty by 2020 due to welfare cuts, flatlining wages and soaring living costs. Now the government's own Child Poverty and Social Mobility Commission admits that targets to reduce child poverty by 10% by 2020 are "doomed" to failure.

The Con-Dems' plan was always wishful thinking, based on an expanding economy providing well-paid jobs. The commission also pointed to the devastating effects of welfare cuts on families' living standards.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 11 June 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS: Private profit kills

Newark byelection: capitalist parties in crisis

'Trojan Horse': who is attacking education?

World Cup carnival can't hide corruption and injustice

Them & Us


Tiananmen Square 1989

The battle of Orgreave

International socialist news and analysis

Spain: European elections redefine political map

Greece: CWI councillors elected

Socialist Party workplace news

10 July: United action can beat austerity

Bakers' union calls for general strike

Unison: No waiting for Labour - fight the job cuts

Housing workers strike against rep suspension

Firefighters to walk out for 24-hours

Care UK workers continue dispute

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Now is the time to join the Socialists!

Why I'm a socialist

Stevenage: EDL not welcome here

Cuts consensus: Labour joins with Ukip to back Tory council

Readers' comments and reviews

Ken Loach's Jimmy's Hall

Obituary: George Duff


Home   |   The Socialist 11 June 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:

Big business:

triangleTesting: Tories' 5bn gift to private sector

triangleTories put profit before lives - unions must stand firm on workplace safety

triangleCapitalist press attacks Tory incompetence

triangleImmigration: For a system that meets the needs of the majority, not a rich elite

triangleLow Pay, Long Hours. Bosses rip us off. Organise the fightback now!

Child poverty:

triangleValentine victory: School strike beats council cuts

triangleUniversal Credit could trap women in violent relationships

triangle250,000 families in "non-decent" homes

triangleWorking families 50 a week short of paying for kids


triangleMay ends in June! Boot out the Tories!

triangleTories facing electoral meltdown

triangleTommy Robinson BBC demo: socialist fightback needed to undermine far right


triangleDoncaster: Vigil for murdered women

trianglePoverty rises again - especially for BAME workers


triangle'FinCEN Files' expose rampant financial corruption: nationalise the banks!


triangleCapitalism fails NHS services in Liverpool: scrap PFI!


triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party: Labour moved right and left me behind


triangleNottingham City Council: The (mis)adventures of Robin Hood Energy

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



PCS: No to DWP management's plans - Yes to action


Socialist Students

Apprehension about Covid - anger at fees, costs and exploitation



Solidarity not charity



Fight BT redundancies



Peterborough CWU have massively voted for strike action


The Socialist

Selling the Socialist



Newham: Closed and evicted



Campaign for new King George Hospital wing gets boost



Usdaw elections: Defend members' right to participate



NHS workers need 15% rise and full funding


Socialist Party

71,522 raised: We've smashed our target again


The Socialist

The Socialist: More than a newspaper



Coventry: Socialist Students is back



Liverpool Council must save care homes



Sussex: Hands off Peacehaven schools

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020