News

27.08.15

Corbyn pledges to eradicate PFI schemes in NHS with public cash

Labour frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to bail out NHS trusts from private finance initiative (PFI) schemes by setting up a government fund to eradicate the debt, if he is elected leader.

He said two-thirds of NHS trusts in deficit have PFI debts, which is often “unsustainable” for hospitals.

According to him, investment in the NHS carried out under PFI schemes is like “buying your house with a credit card”, and added that it is Labour’s duty to “clear up the mess” the party made originally.

Writing for the Guardian, Corbyn praised recent proposals by Labour candidate for London mayor, Sadiq Khan, who suggested buying up the debt owed by the capital’s hospitals to private firms in order to “remove the PFI burden”.

The frontrunner said: “Khan’s proposed scheme for London is a start, but we cannot have a better deal for London than the rest of the country. The Labour council in Northumberland county offered a bailout loan to its local NHS trust and saved millions of pounds for patients care. Nearby Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys mental health trust also bought out its PFI debt, which will save an estimated £14m over the next 23 years.

“In opposition we need to campaign for a fund to be set up to bail out NHS trusts from PFI schemes forced upon them. This will save our NHS, rebuild our economic credibility and, most important, save lives.”

According to figures from the Unite union, 15 NHS trusts are spending over 5% of their annual budget on PFI financing, while five spend over 10%.

“Every penny paid to a PFI company is money withdrawn from those waiting for an operation, money removed from the training of clinicians, and money denied for life-saving treatments,” Corbyn said.

He added that much of the PFI debt is owned offshore to “avoid paying tax” on the profits generated from taxes, with “huge profits of public money are being made by tax dodgers”.

PFI schemes became prevalent under the last Labour government after investments in new hospitals.

“Ministers were too petrified to make the argument for conventional borrowing and instead fell for the city’s con trick,” Corbyn said.

In a speech earlier this year, former Labour leader Ed Miliband said PFI schemes were a costly “burden” as a result of the new hospitals built under Labour, adding that there was a need to get arrangements right.

In the last parliament, seven trusts were given an “emergency stability fund” of £1.5bn in grants to help them avoid slashing services as a result of PFI repayments.

In June 2014, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation became the first in the country to terminate its PFI contract, made possible by a £114m loan from its local council.

(Top image c. Niall Carson, PA Images)

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

interviews

Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

24/10/2019Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

How to help patients manage the psychology of chronic conditions

20/03/2020How to help patients manage the psychology of chronic conditions

Indie Dhariwal, Wellbeing Facilitator at Living Well Taking Control Living with a chronic condition puts huge pressure on both the body and mind. Not only can it pre... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar

back

March 2020

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
24 25 26 27 28 29 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31 1 2 3 4 5

featured articles

View all News