Why private financing of public infrastructure must end and how we can do it

Dr. Helen Mercer

Saturday 13th July 2019 Dr Helen Mercer gave an excellent talk on the development of Private Finance Initiatives and their huge burden to British taxpayers. She also gave an outline of a proposed way forward in ending PFI’s that would save the country billions of pounds. You can listen to Dr Helen Mercer’s Talk as an audio recording. This is an excellent talk and well worth listening to. The talk is followed by a lively discussion. You can also read the full academic paper on ending PFI’s written by Dr Helen Mercer and Dexter Whitfield.


News From Nowhere Club Presents: Vi Gostling Memorial Lecture  (part of Leytonstone Festival) A talk followed by discussion 7:30pm Saturday 13th July 2019 at The Epicentre, West Street, Leytonstone, E11 4LJ
Speaker: Dr Helen Mercer
We all now know that no new PFI contracts will be signed following general recognition that the experiment has been inefficient, costly & otherwise disastrous for the quality of our infrastructure & services. This talk focuses on what to do with the PFIs that are being left to run their course until the 2030s, or longer for many. The talk first demystifies financial wheeler-dealing by providing a clear & straightforward explanation of how private profit is spun off from public services, using examples of PFIs which affect people in North East London. Understanding those financial mechanisms has informed an idea currently gaining interest & agreement: that we can end the process entirely by nationalising the ‘Special Purpose Vehicles’, the financial companies which sign the contracts with public authorities. Helen is a retired lecturer in Economics & Economic History & a member of People vs PFI.

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