Brown defends spending on PFI schemes
Chancellor Gordon Brown has flatly rejected Tory claims that committed future spending on PFI projects is soaring out of control.
Shadow chief secretary Howard Flight said that ‘auditors are quite rightly urging businesses to take off balance sheet liabilities into account in the prudent management of their overall finances’.
And he demanded of the chancellor: ‘What account have you taken of £100bn of off-balance sheet government liabilities, which represent the present value of total PFI payments for the next 30 years and the guarantees given on behalf of Network Rail and London & Continental?’
Brown retorted that the £100bn figure ‘is totally bogus’ and ‘completely wrong’ and said 57% of PFI projects are on-balance sheet.
Brown told Flight: ‘You are trying to count every PFI commitment from now until 2030’ and pointed out that ‘most are to do with maintenance and repair rather than construction’.