Page last updated at 12:29 GMT, Wednesday, 10 December 2008

MSPs issue private funding call

20 note
MSPs said efficiency savings should be spent on frontline services

The Scottish Government should not rule out private finance schemes for big construction projects, Holyrood's finance committee has said.

The call for ministers to consider all funding models came in its report on next year's draft budget.

The government has embarked on a move away from PPP/PFI schemes, insisting they were not value for money.

Its alternative, a non-profit distribution model, has been questioned by opposition parties.

MSPs on the committee also welcomed plans to speed up 260m in capital spending, suggesting some of it be used on town centre regeneration.

'Further pressures'

They also urged ministers to maximise the impact of this cash on the construction industry and wider economy.

The report also called for efficiency savings to be spent on frontline services and for more detail on where cash to fight hospital acquired infections will come from.

The committee's convener, Nationalist MSP Andrew Welsh, said the economic outlook had changed significantly in recent months.

"We note there is likely to be further pressures on the budget in 2010-11, and are asking the Scottish Government to look at its options for spending in the medium to longterm and to come forward with proposals," he said.

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