Dr Neil Bentley
Deputy Director-General at CBI
Post date: Friday, 19th August 2011
Intro: Private Finance Initiative (PFI) funding for new infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals, does not provide taxpayers with good value for money and stricter criteria should be introduced to govern its use, the Treasury Select Committee has concluded in a new report published on 19 August 2011.
The Committee's report is right to say lessons from the past need to be heeded, and PFI must only be used when it is appropriate and offers the best value for money.
But with the state of the public finances, it is absolutely essential we attract the billions of pounds of private finance needed to upgrade our national infrastructure and boost jobs and growth.
To do this, investors need confidence, and the government must decide sooner rather than later how PFI will evolve, alongside a range of alternatives, such as Tax Increment Funding and Pension Fund Financing.
It's worth remembering that without PFI we would not have seen hundreds of much-needed hospitals, schools and homes delivered on time and within budget.