£1.5 billion needed to sort out Labour’s PFI mess

The Guardian reports:

Seven hospital trusts struggling with crippling private finance initiative debts are to receive £1.5bn in emergency funding from the government to help them avoid cutting patient services to pay their bills.

The Department of Health is making the £1.5bn available – in grants, not loans – to the seven hospital trusts in England with some of the heaviest PFI debts through a “stability” fund. Trusts will be able to use the money to meet PFI repayments, rather than their usual budgets, as long as they meet four conditions set out by the department.

The move will help trusts such as South London Healthcare NHS trust, which is facing a PFI repayment in 2012-13 of £66.8m under the terms of a deal agreed in July 1998, in the early days of Tony Blair’s government. They will be able to access the £1.5bn over the next 25 years, until the PFI contracts end.

Andrew Lansley, the health secretary, said he had been forced to use taxpayers’ money because certain NHS organisations could no longer afford to honour PFI deals that had been “badly negotiated” by Labour ministers.

You can read the full story here.

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One Comment

  • Tony Dawson 6th Feb '12 - 8:39pm

    So that’s Labour selling the NHS down the river to help their friends the bankers?

    Plus ca change.

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