Building up the profits;Letter

12th November 1999 at 00:00
SAM Galbraith's claim that the large PFI project for Glasgow schools means that ministers are well on their way to delivering their pledge to build or substantially renovate 100 schools by 2003 deserves comment. This suggests that very few will be built or substantially renovated anywhere else in Scotland.

Those few local authorities which are using PFI are all relying on "level-playing field" support - a sweetener from the Government which ensures that the additional costs of PFI fall on the general taxpayer not on the local authority.

A moment's reflection will allow your readers to conclude that, if such a subsidy were equally available to all local authorities, then the burden on the taxpayer would be beyond the wildest nightmares of Iron Chancellor Gordon Brown. A second moment's reflection might suggest that it would suit everybody, except those who profit from PFI, if no more such schemes were subsidised and conventional borrowing, known to be cheaper, was increased to the equivalent extent to allow more new schools to be built for less.

Janet Law, Blackford Lodge, Blackford, Perthshire

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