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PPP projects to cost Scots £22.3 billion

Scottish taxpayers will have to cough up £22.3 billion over the next four decades to fund all the Private Public Partnership (PPP) schemes across the country, according to new figures from the Scottish Executive.

The statistics show the true cost of the 102 contracts for privately built schools, prisons and hospitals in Scotland, and reveal the legacy the new SNP (Scottish National Party) executive has inherited from the previous Labour administration - around £4,500 for every Scot.

Jamie Hepburn, SNP MSP for Central Scotland, whose parliamentary question led to the release of the figures, told the Herald: 'It's staggering. The scale of this shows up the shortsightedness of PPP.'

Last Thursday (23 August), the SNP announced it was overturning plans for a privately run prison at Bishopbriggs, Glasgow - a move expected to lead to the scrapping of further PPP schemes.

Responding to the figures, a spokesman for the Scottish Labour Party said: 'At the end of the day, it is not the procurement process that people are interested in, but the fact that their kids are going to a school with great facilities.

'This figure does sound like a lot, but actually PPP is only a fraction - 27 per cent of the capital expenditure - of the overall spend on improving public buildings under the last executive - When you break it down it is good value for money.'

by Angus Montgomery

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