Crowe attacks use of PPPs for schools
Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has attacked the increasing use of Public Private Partnerships to build schools. He was speaking after Minister Hanafin announced six new schools were to be built in the Leinster area under PPP contracts.
The Dublin South-West TD said: “No-one is going to argue against the need for new schools and for capital investment in education. But it is becoming increasingly evident that PPPs, the handover of the running of schools to private companies, is the most expensive and cumbersome way of doing it.
“The Estimates published last week included a 58% increase in paying PPP costs. The Comptroller & Auditor General found in June 2004 that far from the predicted saving of 6% claimed by the Department of Education and Science, the use of PPPs ‘was likely to be in the region of 13% to 19% more expensive than conventional procurement’. At a time when the state’s coffers are awash in funds there is no economic argument whatsoever for the use of PPPs to deliver critical infrastructure.
“Since the schools are run by private companies, Jarvis in the case of existing projects, it can be difficult for them to be made available outside of school hours for local community groups and residents associations as is the norm in schools throughout the state. As well as places of learning, schools are at the heart of communities and should not be seen as another way for Fianna Fáil to divert more money to private developers.”