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Date: Tuesday 9 Sept 2008

SFT is a costly and unnecessary new quango with staff on six figure salaries

UNISON Scotland will tomorrow warn MSPs that the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) will be an unnecessary and costly new quango, promoting PFI/PPP policies and employing staff on six figure salaries.

Scottish Organiser Dave Watson will tell the Scottish Parliament's Finance Committee that the SFT proposal has been turned from a simple idea (for Scottish Government Bonds) into a complex one, losing the original purpose and instead pursuing largely the same PFI/PPP policies.

Giving evidence to the Committee's ongoing inquiry into the funding of public capital investment projects, he will point out that the SFT's continuation of the hub PPP initiative is a Trojan horse for introducing parts of the English public sector model here.

Dave will say "Ministers are establishing a new quango with most of its important work barely sketched out in this Strategic Business Case. "It has allocated initial payroll costs of £1 million for six or seven staff. "UNISON research (click here) has shown that PFI/PPP is wasting billions of pounds of taxpayers money. The SFT originally was supposed to tackle this waste but the current plans simply set up a new quango to deliver more of the same.

ENDS

For Further Information Please Contact: Dave Watson (Scottish organiser - Policy) 07958 122 409 (m) Fiona Montgomery/Malcolm Burns (Information Development Officers) 0141 342 2852/2811

Notes for editors
Dave Watson will give evidence to the Committee at 2pm on Tuesday 9 Sept. He is taking part in a round table discussion involving several witnesses. UNISON's summary evidence to the Finance Committee for the 9 Sept meeting is available from Fiona Montgomery on Tues am (0141 342 2852 or at f.montgomery@unison.co.uk ) It is also now (Mon 9 Sep) on the Cttee website at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/finance/papers-08/fip08-19.pdf UNISON also provided evidence to the Finance Committee in May. This is at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/finance/papers-08/fip08-13.pdf

The main evidence submitted in Dec 2007 to the Finance Committee's Inquiry is at: http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/response/capitalinvest.html

UNISON's submission to the Scottish Government consultation on the Scottish Futures Trust is at: http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/response/sftresponsemarch08.html

* 'At What Cost' is on the UNISON Scotland website at: http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/comms/atwhatcostoct07.pdf

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