Headlines: March 22nd, 2000

The government is expected to sign deals worth 20 billion pounds with the private sector in the next three years. This compares with 12 billion pounds worth of deals from 1997, which included 35 major hospital projects. The priorities for capital investment are health, education and transport. The pipeline includes 25 new health and 60 new education projects.Among the benefits claimed for public private partnerships are a 17% cost saving which comes from harnessing private sector financial and management disciplines as well as skills and expertise.

The Housing Corporation has announced that last year there was a 16% increase in private finance initiative funding for social housing. This brings the total of private financed invested in social housing since it became available in 1992 to 16.9 billion pounds. The corporation predicts a need for 7.3 billion pounds of private finance in the next three years. Some 4.6 billion pounds of this will be required for transfer of properties from local councils. Tenants of more than 160,000 council homes could benefit from repairs and improvements to their homes in 2000/01.