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Timebomb of PFI schemes NO [...].

Timebomb of PFI schemes NO politician can be surprised at the cost of It seems like the battle against covert sexism has still to be won.

Denis Kilcommons Page 6 the PFI Scheme at Calderdale Royal Hospital and the effect it has had on the budget of Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation trust, with the subsequent proposals to close A&E facilities at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

This story is repeated across Britain. In nearby Mid-Yorkshire Health Trust (Dewsbury, Wakefield and Pontefract hospitals) the extortionate costs of the PFI scheme at Pinderfields Hospital (Wakefield) has led to the closure of the A&E at Pontefract Hospital and the proposed closure of A&E at Dewsbury.

The costs of these schemes were known by politicians, particularly when they were introduced by John Major Tory government) and continued by the Blair/Brown Labour Governments between 1997 and 2010.

PFI schemes were always 'milk cows' for hedge funds/construction companies/banks with 25-30 year repayment schemes and high rates of interest.

There are two old sayings that are appropriate: "You can't run with the hounds and the hares" and "You can't ride two horses in the same race."

Politicians can't be disingenuous - PFI schemes were always going to lead to cuts because of the huge repayments costs. 'Chickens always come home to roost' and 'As ye reap, so shall ye sow' are two other appropriate cliches.

The public sector managers who recommended the PFI schemes are now long gone, retiring on large pensions, getting large salaries at other public sector bodies or, in some cases, then going to work for the PFI contractors!

In Kirklees Council in the early 2000s, councillors were persuaded to invest in a PFI scheme to renovate/rebuild 20 schools (now 18). Budgets are now saddled with huge repayment costs.

In Kirklees Council, 1,500 staff (mainly catering/cleaning staff ) are being paid the Living Wage of PS7.88 per hour (following negotiations between the council and the trade unions).

Cleaning/catering staff at the 18 PFI schools in Kirklees do not get the Living Wage because the French-owned company that employs them on the PFI (SPIE) won't pay it to them.

So cleaners at SPIE schools which are adjacent to council schools don't get the same rates of pay as council cleaners.

Kirklees UNISON are fully behind the campaigners to keep A&E services at Dewsbury and Huddersfield open, but the proposals from the two NHS Trusts are to have no A&E for the 400,000 people in Kirklees.

Politicians who have supported PFI schemes in Parliament can't 'cry over spilt milk' when the very same schemes then affect their own areas.

Those who opposed PFI scehems in the past, and the public who have been conned by 'self-serving' politicians who want to earn a nice living in Parliament, are not to blame for this, but most politicians who have not adequately represented their constituents are now 'crying crocodile tears' That is why members of the public feel conned by many MP's and why those MP's who are perceived to have principles, are growing in popularity.

Paul Holmes Branch Secretary, UNISON

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 25, 2016
Words:522
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