EU Court of Auditors criticism “should be final nail in coffin of PPPs”

The EU Court of Auditors have released a report today which says that “EU co-financed Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) cannot be regarded as an economically viable option for delivering public infrastructure”.

Reacting to the report, Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Director of the Jubilee Debt Campaign, said:
“This damning report should be the final nail in the coffin for Public Private Partnerships, which have continually shown to be a hugely expensive, inefficient and high risk way to deliver public infrastructure and services. The EU, UK and World Bank must learn the lessons from their failure in Europe, including here in the UK, and stop promoting this false solution for financing public services around the world.”

The report, titled “Public Private Partnerships in the EU: Widespread shortcomings and limited benefits” says that the PPPs they investigated “suffered from widespread shortcomings and limited benefits, resulting in €1.5 billion of inefficient and ineffective spending. In addition, value for money and transparency were widely undermined in particular by unclear policy and strategy, inadequate analysis, off-balance-sheet recording of PPPs and unbalanced risk-sharing arrangements”.

Sarah-Jayne Clifton will be speaking at an event in the UK parliament tonight launching an exhibition on PPPs in the UK. The exhibition, ‘How come we’re still paying for this?’ has been organized by the campaign group People vs PFI. Also speaking will be Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP and Dexter Whitfield from the European Services Strategy Unit.

152 national, regional and international civil society organisations, trade unions and citizens’ organisations from 45 countries have signed a global campaign manifesto, which calls on the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other public development banks, together with the governments of wealthy countries, to:

  • Halt the aggressive promotion and incentivising of PPPs for social and economic infrastructure financing, and publicly recognise the financial and other significant risks that PPP entail.
  • Support countries in finding the best financing method for public services in infrastructure, which are responsible, transparent, environmentally and fiscally sustainable, and in line with their human rights obligations.
  • Prioritise domestic resources to provide efficient and accountable public services, whilst augmenting them with long-term concessional and non-concessional finance.
  • Ensure that high transparency standards apply, particularly with regard to accounting of public funds, and disclosure of contracts and performance reports of social and economic infrastructure projects.

Read more

Jubilee Debt Campaign’s report ‘Double standards: How the UK promotes rip-off health PPPs abroad

Jubilee Debt Campaign’s briefing ‘The UK’s PPPs Disaster: Lessons on private finance for the world

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