Fiddling while Rome burns

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Fat_Face, Feb 24, 2009.

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  1. Am I alone in noticing that as the MOD cuts swathes through its equipment programme for the sake of a relative pittance (but in difficult years), the same MOD is about to commit hundreds of millions to PFI solutions to a training contract that simply is not needed? No-one I have ever met seriously doubts the quality of our young folk when they come out of the existing training system. Their performance in sandy places confirms that the system ain't broke. So why replace it and deny ourselves millions of pounds worth of real benefit in order to fund it?

    And as for the wisdom of committing the delivery of key training to consortia underwritten largely by the expectation of 'available money'; in the current climate the mind boggles!
  2. I think you expressed surprise.

    It is possible that you have not noticed that this sort of decision is, and has been for nearly twelve long years, made by the duplicitous, deranged and devious gang of 'spivs' masquerading as our government.

    I have heard the phrase 'scorched earth' applied to the financial shambles that this disgusting government will bequeath to it's inevitable successor.
  3. No you are not alone in noticing this,nor alone in commenting on it,but if this despicably specious administration has more than ably demonstrated it is its inveterate ability to waste billions of other people's(taxpayers') money.Besides,have we not considered the behind-the-scenes influence of the Old Boy network in such cases?
  4. PFI allows the government to keep the expenditure off its books. The money spent wont add to the government's increasingly catastrophic debt figures.
  6. I think you are not quite correct.

    The attraction of PFI for the government is that it avoids making expensive one-off payments to fund large-scale projects which would involve unpopular tax rises, and since the risks of PFI projects are technically transferred to the private consortia they do not show up as increased public borrowing in the government's accounts.

    However as with any form of hire purchase, buying a product over an extended period is more expensive than buying it with cash up front yet the government can borrow cash at a cheaper rate than the private sector unless, that is, S&P down grades the UK government's credit rating.

    There is also a question mark over how much risk is genuinely transferred to the private sector given the government's record of bailing out private companies managing troubled public services - and now also the banks.

    Public sector accountants claim that hospitals and schools would be cheaper to build using traditional funding methods and the National Audit Office described the value for money test used to justify PFI projects as "pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo".

    PFIs are just hire purchase agreements, albeit with lots of zeroes and long pay back periods. The earliest one will be completed in 20 years time and some I have read of are 60 years to completion.

    So they are debts whichever way one looks at them and, given the current state of the government's finances, the costs of servicing them will result in increased borrowing.

    The fact that they do not appear on the country's balance sheet is nothing more than a scam worthy of Enron.

    If I tried that stunt with my company's accounts, they would not be passed, HMRC would be down on me like a ton of bricks and I would be barred from being a director.
  7. Do not the PFI commitments come under European Rules later this year which will place them on Browns Books ?
  8. yep, but i'm sure he'll stretch it out so it all goes on the books 24 hours after he loses the next election
  9. Probably not the first time a politician has done this. On my side of the Atlantic, in Massachusetts this happened when Gov. Mike Dukakis (D) was replaced by Gov Bil Weld (R) in 1990. There are a number of programs that provide state grants to reimburse cities and towns. Before Dukakis the reimbursement time was about 2-3 months. During Dukakis's terms the wait for funds stretched to over 2 years. When Weld, a Republican, was elected the Dukakis staff spent the intervening 7 weeks paying off all the overdue funds. When Weld took office the state treasury was nearly empty.

    Politicians are the same the world over, dreadful.