Labour’s Toxic PFI Legacy haunts Renfrewshire’s Education Budget

“Renfrewshire is one of the worst examples of Labour’s PFI swindles, where buildings worth about £100million will end up costing Renfrewshire taxpayers over £530million”, said Councillor Kenny MacLaren (SNP – Paisley Northwest).

As the SNP nationally expose the extent of the Scottish schools swindled by Labour’s toxic PFI legacy, Cllr MacLaren highlighted that Renfrewshire was one of the worst affected councils.

Schools across Scotland continue to count the cost of Labour’s toxic PFI legacy – which will see councils spend nearly 10% of their school budgets servicing the debts that Labour left behind over a decade ago.

The analysis by independent researchers in SPICe has found that PFI unitary charges for Scotland’s schools in 2018/19 are estimated to be £434.3 million – a significant amount of Scottish schools’ total resource budget of £5.159 billion – a “shameful legacy” of Labour’s years in power at Holyrood. In 2016/17, total PFI repayments cost Scotland over £1 billion.

Cllr Kenny MacLaren added:

“Labour’s toxic PFI legacy means the public purse is still paying heavily over the odds servicing their decade-old debts. Last year alone the council had to pay over £16million for the PFI deal.

“In Renfrewshire, Labour’s PFI deal will hang over our education budget until mid 2030’s as the council is forced to pay off Labour’s debt, heavily impacting on the amount of funds left to manage education services in the area.

“This is money that councils could use to pay for teachers, books and facilities but instead it is being used by councils forced to pay for Labour’s mistakes.

“And let’s not forget, last year alone over £1 billion was taken from Scotland’s public services to pay off Labour’s PFI debts. That’s a figure as eyewatering as it is disgraceful.”