>> 29 November 2012
SNP North East MSP Mark McDonald has condemned figures showing the shocking extent of Aberdeenshire Council’s Private Finance Initiative (PFI) burden in years to come.
Mr McDonald’s comments come after the figures, published by the UK Treasury, showed that the council would be saddled with a £300 million debt in return for just £80 million worth of completed projects under contracts agreed to by the previous Labour/Liberal administration.
Under the initiative, councils and health boards were encouraged to enter into agreements with private companies to build facilities such as schools and hospitals, and they would be paid back over a number of years.
However, this has left Scotland’s councils with a debt of £14.4 billion to be paid off over the next 30-40 years, which will only have paid for £3.2 billion worth of projects.
Commenting, Mr McDonald said,
"It is important that we secure the future of our local authorities by ensuring that they are not hamstrung by the debt caused by this ill-conceived initiative. That is why I am glad that the Scottish Government has replaced PFI with the new Non-Profit Distributing model, which makes sure our councils get value for money when dealing with private companies."