South of Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has shown support for the launch of debt charity Jubilee Scotland’s new report, ‘Rethinking Private Financing’, which criticises the use of public private partnerships (PPPs) in Scotland and looks toward finding alternative solutions to these flawed schemes.

In the wake of the recent Audit Scotland report criticising the Scottish Government’s use of PFI, Jubilee Scotland launched their findings at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday (January 29). The Scottish Government’s current PFI model has been used to fund the building of a number of major projects in the South of Scotland, including the new Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary and schools in Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.

Jubilee Scotland’s report details their findings on the damage PPPs have done to public services.

The charity believes Scotland has lost accountability of its public services, with local councils and the government rarely given any power to renegotiate when things take a turn.

South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said: “I was happy to support the launch of Jubilee Scotland’s report, ‘Rethinking Private Financing’.

“It is an informative document and shows that public private partnerships have saddled the public sector with high levels of debt, poor service provision, lack of accountability and unsafe buildings.

“The SNP has accepted that the use of private finance in infrastructure projects is costly but continues to use the system, creating more and more debt for future generations.

“The current system is creating unsustainable levels of debt and is forcing our hard-pressed local authorities into using costly private finance models for investment.

“The SNP must realise that deferring payment for these costly projects does not make the payment go away but in fact burdens future governments and exacerbates austerity.

“I am calling on the SNP to end the current approach that works only for private financiers and implement a new funding model that prioritises public investment in public services.”

Line Kikkenborg Christensen, Campaign Director at Jubilee Scotland said: “At Jubilee Scotland we believe it is time to rethink the private financing of Scottish public projects.

“Scotland needs a financing model which has safety and quality at its heart. A model which puts accountability to the taxpayer before the interests of big business.”

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