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Malcolm Fraser takes PPP fight to the Scottish Parliament

March 24 2023

Malcolm Fraser takes PPP fight to the Scottish Parliament

A position paper setting out a nine-point plan to end public-private partnerships (PPP) has been brought before the Scottish Parliament by Jubilee Scotland, a non-profit coalition campaigning to end 'debt slavery'.

A constant presence in procurement since their introduction in the 1990s campaigners argue that the time is right to agree on an alternative vision of how public services and infrastructure can be delivered that prioritises wellbeing over profit.

Birthing an alphabet soup of funding models including PFI, NPD, Hub and MIM, the PPP programme has been criticised for saddling the government with long-term debt in return for immediate funding to design, build, finance and operate public works. Hamstrung by capital grants and borrowing limits successive politicians have turned to PPP as the only way to fund costly public works, by drawing upfront capital costs from the private sector in exchange for long-term liabilities.

Setting out alternative procurement methods the grouping, which includes Malcolm Fraser of Fraser/Livingstone Architects and Common Weal, the pro-independence think tank, is seeking cross-party support for a nine-point action plan that includes higher borrowing limits.

Fraser said: "I have been campaigning against PPP – Scotland’s ruinous Private Finance policies for public buildings – since I resigned from A+DS in 2006. Most recently I have been working with partners at Jubilee Scotland, the Common Weal, the European Services Strategy Unit and statisticians to critique the current malaise and set out a path to prudential Public Funding that uses the existing Learning Estate Investment Programme 'LEIP' public finance and other levers as a route forward.

"I have sought to make clear that this is not just an issue of financial propriety, but that a proper public route should lead to more responsible public buildings and infrastructure, with the issues of carbon, retrofit, placemaking and health and wellbeing that architects are natural leaders in, at their hearts."

The below recommendations will be put before future working groups to move towards this goal:

  • Let public well-being drive Scottish infrastructure investment
  • Do not allow the Mutual Investment Model (MIM) to be put into active use in Scotland
  • Act on the recommendations from Audit Scotland’s review of the PPP scheme
  • Take the best parts of LEIP and expand these across sectors
  • Let the planned Infrastructure Company play a key role in moving towards public ownership of infrastructure and make it a centre of local government support
  • Mandate Scottish National Investment Bank to invest in public infrastructure projects
  • Rethink the use of prudential borrowing powers and address the budgetary incentives for using PPPs
  • Rebuild public sector capability and capacity for managing infrastructure
  • Let Net Zero be at the heart of Scottish infrastructure investment


Dr Beeching Love Affair
#1 Posted by Dr Beeching Love Affair on 24 Mar 2023 at 10:36 AM
Lol, I initially thought he was campaigning to end Planning Permission in Principle applications.
Fat Bloke on Tour
#2 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 24 Mar 2023 at 12:01 PM
I fear all this good stuff is six months too late -- the world of easy money is not where we are at or where we are heading.

Student solutions to real world problems ...
Not good.

No use sorting out the funding model if the build economics are they stuff of hype and legend.

Public infrastructure costs too much -- not sure if that is design led / productivity led / industry led?

Whatever it is -- the joke is on the public.
#3 Posted by SJ on 24 Mar 2023 at 13:39 PM
Someone give Malcolm Fraser a Knighthood!

(glad to say he'd probably turn it down)
Graeme McCormick
#4 Posted by Graeme McCormick on 24 Mar 2023 at 14:04 PM
there would be no need for borrowing for projects if the Scottish Government introduced AGFRR and abolished all devolution taxes and set a zero rate for income tax on earned income. Raise far more money too
Fat Bloke on Tour
#5 Posted by Fat Bloke on Tour on 24 Mar 2023 at 15:43 PM
OMG -- surely no more Lib Dem inspired nonsense about land value taxation.

If it was so easy it would have been done before now -- there is a reason why it languishes in ancient text books and inspires people who wear sandals / drink real ale / dress in too much corduroy.
#6 Posted by Rob on 25 Mar 2023 at 12:15 PM
Is it just me or can’t anyone else see the hypocrisy of a man who couldn’t service his own debt and went into liquidation dishing out financial advice.
Neil C
#7 Posted by Neil C on 25 Mar 2023 at 12:29 PM
Or the hypocrisy of an anonymous troll posting an outrageous comment, please remove it.
Malcolm Fraser
#8 Posted by Malcolm Fraser on 27 Mar 2023 at 20:36 PM
Maybe my experience of financial hardship helps form rounded views. Or maybe my financial history matters not a jot, and the important thing is our proposals to end these ruinous policies. Please read them.

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