Greenock and Inverclyde MSP, Stuart McMillan, is shocked to learn that £10m of Inverclyde’s 2018/19 school budget is going towards Labour’s PFI debts – accounting for 12% of Inverclyde council’s £83.1m schools budget.
New research into the toxic PFI legacy by the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (SPICe) shows that Scotland’s schools are losing out on an estimated £434.3m due to servicing the debts that Labour left behind over a decade ago – a significant amount of Scottish schools’ total resource budget of £5.159 billion for 2018/19.
In 2016/17, total PFI repayments cost Scotland over £1 billion – a “shameful legacy” of Labour’s years in power at Holyrood.
Commenting, Mr McMillan said:
“I’m shocked that Inverclyde’s schools are losing out on £10m in 2018/19 due to the PFI Unitary Charges for school projects that the council has to pay as a result of Labour’s toxic PFI legacy.
“It’s been over a decade since Labour were in power at Holyrood yet Scotland is still paying off their debts – and sadly it’s our schools that are suffering, with almost £500m predicted to be paid in PFI repayments this year, accounting for 8% of Scotland’s overall schools budget.
“The SNP Scottish Government is working hard to boost attainment in schools, improve school buildings and facilities – all of which is made harder when public funds are recuperated to cover old PFI costs. Money that councils could use to pay for teachers, textbooks, equipment and facilities is being used by councils forced to pay for Labour’s mistakes.
“It’s time Labour apologised for how detrimental their PFI policy was then, with the effects still being felt today.
“The public purse is still paying heavily for Labour’s costly decade-old errors, and the reality is we are going to be saddled with this bill for years to come.”