Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Every PFI school in Tayside has tax haven links

Grove Academy
Grove Academy

Every school built in Tayside using a controversial private funding scheme now has links to tax havens, The Courier has learned.

Each of the 24 schools constructed under the private finance initiative (PFI) schemes are owned at least in part by investment funds in countries where there are lower tax rates, according to research by an expert in public sector financing.

That means that stakes in the building projects can be packaged into financial commodities and bought and sold for private profit, while the public purse in places like Dundee receives nothing.

The study also found that 60% of Fife’s education buildings are connected to offshore owners.

According to the research, which was used for a BBC investigation, 85% of PFI schools across Scotland are owned in a similar manner.

Dexter Whitfield, an outspoken critic of PFI who has followed the development of the schemes closely, said: “It’s appalling in my view in the sense that schools, hospitals and roads are increasingly being packaged up and treated as financial commodities that are being bought and sold for private profit.

“These commodities are increasing in value but nobody in places like Dundee or anywhere else is seeing any of that value.”

PFI deals, which were introduced by Labour and the Liberal Democrats at Holyrood, involve the private sector providing the upfront cash to build infrastructure such as schools with public authorities paying for it in instalments.

They are sometimes referred to as “buy now, pay later” deals, with public bodies having to pay more than the value of the projects to service the debt.

Dundee’s public-private partnership project for six primary and two secondary schools was completed in 2009 and the contract is run by Discovery Education PLC.

A city council spokesman said they are responsible for the management and maintenance of these schools for 30 years under the contract.

“This includes lifecycle maintenance which is agreed annually between Discovery and the council,” he said.

The news emerged as the Scottish Government’s balance sheet revealed PFI spending now tops £1 billion.

As well as schools, a series of major infrastructure projects, including a number involving the NHS, are topping up the bill.

SNP MSP Tom Arthur said: “The scale of PFI repayments are now absolutely staggering – showing the sheer incompetence and damaging legacy of the previous Labour and Lib Dem executive.”

 

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]