PFI has been a failure – and Carillion is the tip of the iceberg

The demise of Carillion has exposed the way that UK public services – from the NHS to energy – are contracted out to businesses. In a new piece he has co-authored for The Conversation, Dr Ekililu Salufi says it’s time for a re-think on Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes.

A crane at a building site.

Image by r_stephen licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Carillion’s collapse has brought with it wider scrutiny of the way that UK public services are contracted out to businesses – particularly through the use of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes. The UK’s second largest construction business had a network of these contracts, worth billions of pounds, providing essential public services across government departments. The NHS, defence, education, energy, and prisons have all been left exposed by its collapse.

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