Wednesday, 18 February 2009

PFI Bailout: One Last Gulp Of The Kool Aid

To be fair, I did warn Ministers when Gordon drained the Cabinet tea urn and filled it with his own lethal Kool Aid cocktail. Don't drink it, I said. Do something useful. Take one of the nation's never-been-used military helicopters and fly out to meet the Taliban.

But oh, no. They just sipped away. Nonchalantly playing with the country's finances until, when they lifted the Union Jack piggy bank to their ears and shook it... nothing.

Well, hell. When you're mainlining on fearless ineptitude, that won't stop you. You just get taxpayers to stand in long lines outside banks with IV tubes running straight from their wallets into the vaults.

And as economy grinds into reverse, we have their last, best, brightest idea. The last big gulp from the Kool Aid: bridging loans for stalled PFI projects.

Boy, has that one knocked over the cappuccinos at the Taxpayer's Alliance!

Bridging loans? A bridge to where and when? "Until the economic climate changes, at which point the loans would be renegotiated." That's not a bridging loan. That's the financial equivalent of lighting an oil well and running away. How are we going to fund these things for an indeterminate period? How will they be repaid when the economic climate doesn't "change" in the way that is mysteriously expected?

Who knows? They certainly don't care. It's over for them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah - the sneaky shifting of public expenditure off-balance-sheet comes home to roost in a spectacular fashion.

So all that risk that was 'successfully' transferred from the taxpayer to the private sector is now being underwritten by.... the taxpayer.


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