Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Don't Use Private Cash, Blair Urged

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Don't Use Private Cash, Blair Urged

Article excerpt

Byline: By Steven Oliver

Union leader Gill Hale today launched an attack on Tony Blair over using private cash to improve public services.

Ms Hale, the regional secretary of the UK's biggest union Unison, attacked the Prime Minister over his pledge to press ahead with plans to extend the Government's private finance initiative.

His comments brought a stinging rebuke from Ms Hale who believes there must be an independent review of how to fund public service improvements.

"It is an extraordinary claim to link the future of public service reform with the private finance initiative as if there is no alternative way of improving our public services.

"This is nonsense. The Government's mistake of absolutely fundamental historic importance has been to prevent the public sector from using other methods of procurement, leaving PFI as virtually the only option.

"PFI is not building world- class public services. In fact there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary," said Ms Hale. …

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