Labour pledges to bring school PFI contracts 'in-house'

Jerome Frank
September 27, 2017

Britain's opposition Labour Party set out plans on Monday to nationalize billions of pounds of privately-funded infrastructure contracts, cap credit card interest charges, and get extra cash from large corporations.

A Labour spokesman said: "Labour condemns anti-Semitism in the strongest possible terms and our National Executive Committee unanimously passed tough new rule changes last week".

"Where Labour has engaged with business - from Brexit and skills to infrastructure and innovation - solutions have been found to deliver an economy that is both more prosperous and fairer".

Jeremy Corbyn has defended shadow chancellor John McDonnell's decision to prepare for the possibility of a run on the pound after Labour takes power.

Labour could take Private Finance Initiative contracts worth billions of pounds back into the United Kingdom public sector under plans unveiled by shadow chancellor John McDonnell. "We'll bring existing PFI contracts back in-house".

According to the AJ's sister title Construction News, the shadow chancellor added that he would launch a new government-backed energy company "working with the co-operative sector on a scale never seen before in this country".

"We'll put an end to this scandal and reduce the cost to the taxpayers".

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PFI (Private Finance Initiative) contracts were introduced by John Major's Conservative government in the early 1990s.

He said that under the plans, shareholders would be reimbursed with government bonds and the "behaviour" of the company since privatisation would affect the amount awarded to shareholders. They did not give an estimated cost for the policy.

And, while the swagger of a strong election result and an influx of young voters has provided a more upbeat political outlook for the party, some business delegates complained it has not resulted in a more collaborative or transparent approach.

"The shadow chancellor's vision of massive state intervention is the wrong plan at the wrong time", she said.

The scheme has proved controversial, with complaints from Labour and Conservative MPs over the years.

He said Labour wanted the financial regulator to impose a cap on the amount of interest payable on credit card debt to help those caught in "persistent debt".

PFIs, where government departments or local authorities sign a contract with an independent operator to build and maintain an asset and then pay an annual charge for the service over the contract lifetime (sometimes as much as 40 years), have always had their detractors; but the renewal of the fabric of public services seemed a powerful rebuttal. "We've always been engaged with the small- to medium-sized businesses, but I think big business is starting to recognise us", said Ajay Nehra, vice-president of Labour Business, an affiliated Labour Party group focused on developing business policy.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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