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TO REFORM PUBLIC SERVICES PFI/PPP MUST BE SCRAPPED - UNION

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Whilst welcoming the Scottish Executive/STUC protocol designed to eliminate...
Whilst welcoming the Scottish Executive/STUC protocol designed to eliminate

the two-tier workforce, Unison Scotland called for the Scottish parliament

to scrap future PPP/PFI projects. The union also supports the Labour

Party's call for an independent review into PFI/PPP schemes.

Matt Smith, Unison's Scottish secretary, said:

'The Scottish parliament finance committee's report being debated

today reinforces our call for a moratorium on PPP schemes and for an

independent review. We welcome the call to protect employment conditions of

workers and recognise the step forward that the STUC/Scottish Executive

Protocol has subsequently made in this area. But it is clear that PPP

schemes are still more expensive than publicly-funded equivalents, that

they make profits by cutting levels of service, and they do not deliver the

levels of flexibility available through the public sector. They also break

up the public service team making it difficult to bring back the ethos of

public service that Scotland has consistently voted for in elections.'

Unison also criticises the growing interest in Not for Profit or more

accurately Non Profit-Distributing Trusts (NPDT), as conventional PFI is

discredited by just about every independent study.

Dave Watson, Unison's Scottish organiser (policy & information) said:

'The NPDTs proposed by several local authorities in Scotland are not an

alternative to PFI. They are simply a different structure for delivering it

Our concern is that NPDTs are simply window-dressing.'

The union thinks that whilst NPDTs retain most of the PFI weaknesses. There

is little evidence that they will be able to borrow as cheaply as a local

authority and lending conditions may impact on the ability of trusts to

employ staff, leading to the same profiteering and inflexibility inherent

in PFI.

Matt Smith said:

'We are glad the committee agreed with Unison criticisms in a

number of areas. Coming on top of the critical report by Audit Scotland

into schools' PFI, and Labour's decision to call for a review by an

overwhelming majority - a review backed by 63% of voters in an ICM poll -

we think it is time that PPP's stopped until an independent review takes

place.'

UNISONScotland will be keeping up the pressure on the government in the run

up to the Scottish parliament elections with its campaign supporting public

services delivered by publicly accountable staff - not by private companies

accountable only to their shareholders.

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