UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

PFI - the early years

Believe it or not there wasn't always a trade union consensus against the use of PFI to fund public sector capital projects. The report of the Trade Union Congress on 9th September 1997 records a debate in which the TUC rejected a composite moved by the late Jimmy Knapp of the RMT, and supported by UNISON, calling for opposition to the PFI programme being promoted by the newly elected Labour Government. Knapp's speech rings down the years:

"I want to support and echo the words of Rodney Bickerstaffe on this very issue. PFI does not count against expenditure limits, but the impression that PFI can provide additional investment without increasing public spending or borrowing is a misplaced and totally misleading view. What we are doing is mortgaging the future of our public services, and the next generation will pick up the tab. That is really what PFI is about."