LETTERS - Cost of deal for hospital

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AS the new Pinderfields Hospital nears completion I think that it may be time to let the people know the truth about its financing.

Before and during the general election campaign, Mary Creagh MP, claimed she had secured the funding for the new hospital. As her main opponent, I pointed out that, if anything, Mrs Creagh had simply persuaded Gordon Brown to put the cost on the national credit card.

The ‘deal’ for Pinderfields means that the £215m hospital will actually cost us around £1bn by the end of the concession period of 35 years.

The terms of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal that financed the new hospital will mean that the first children born in it will still be paying for it as they approach middle age.

Other hospitals financed under the same arrangement are being charged as much as £333 to change a light bulb! Another was charged £963 to have a TV aerial erected!

Even then there will be no reason to celebrate, because we still won’t own it, the builders will.

The 544 projects which Mrs Creagh’s Labour government put on PFI will cost the taxpayer £245bn, but the actual cost to build them was a mere £51.5bn.

The negotiating of the terms and conditions of those PFI contracts by Labour was wholly inept and incompetent. It now seems that the various departments had no choice but to accept them, being compelled to do so by central government. These charges will inevitably cause huge problems for NHS funding going forward.

Mrs Creagh was very quick to take the credit for securing the money to build the new Pinderfields.

So, as it nears completion, perhaps she would like to explain to the people who voted for her, the truth about the deal she negotiated and how by 2045 they will have paid all the money back, but still not own the hospital.

Alex Story

Parliamentary Candidate 2010

Wakefield Conservatives