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Scottish Futures Trust

20/12/2007

Plans to improve the system for investing in infrastructure projects including schools and hospitals have been published today by the Scottish Government.

A consultation on the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), which will provide an alternative to current arrangements for the funding of public infrastructure projects, has been launched by Finance Secretary John Swinney.

The SFT is intented to provide a better deal for taxpayers by combining opportunities for maximising investment levels and reducing costs.

It is proposed that SFT would be an incorporated company able to provide private finance and other related financial services to public authorities and public service providers.

Any surplus money will be re-cycled for further investment and community benefit under Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) principles.

Mr Swinney said:

"Efficient investment in Scotland's infrastructure is needed to create a more successful country, through increasing sustainable economic growth.

"The Scottish Government believes there is a more effective way of funding our vital public infrastructure than traditional costly PFI. We have already started that change by using a Non-Profit Distributing model for schools and health projects.

"By placing NPD principles at the core of the new arrangements for the Scottish Futures Trust, we can finally remove the element of PFI that delivered the most extreme and unwarranted profits."

The consultation runs until March 14, 2008.