PANAORAMA is getting dangerously close to telling the truth about our Government. "Tonight" the programme annouces "Panorama investigates the Multi Billion pound deals hidden from the taxpayer.......deals that arent always what they seem......deals that have allowed a small group of companies and private financiers to make a killing from the taxpayer". Reporter John Ware makes the observation that across the country a new power is making its presence felt, unelected and unaccountable. He refers to the private finance initiative, PFI contracts that have passed ownership of this countries infrastructure into private hands. The underlying theme of the programme is the massive overcharging, in some cases as much as £2bn, per project. According to the Guardian - The PFI was first announced by Norman Lamont in 1992, but the complex deals proliferated at Gordon Brown's Treasury. Private sector providers agree to build and run schools, hospitals and other infrastructure projects, typically over 30 years, in exchange for a stream of payments from the public purse. Balfour Beatty, Thames Water, energy company EDF, engineering specialist WS Atkins and Canada's Bombardier are just some of the firms cashing in on the private finance initiative. If you have ever asked the question, what happens to all the money we pay in taxes? This is probably as close to an answer as you will get. After 20 years of PFI's the current cost to the taxpayer stands at £300bn. Typically no blame has been laid at the Governments door other than to say the Treasury has failed to act. Ask yourself how these private financiers gained access to the public purse in the first place..
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