HC Deb 13 November 2001 vol 374 c607W
Matthew Taylor

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the projects in his Department which have been considered as potential public-private partnerships since 1997 which have not been undertaken because the public sector comparator had a lower net present value than the public-private partnership proposed; and if he will make a statement. [13453]

Mr. Andrew Smith

In our 1997 reforms of PFI, the Government abandoned the requirement to submit all capital projects to PFI testing. Accordingly, it will be concluded at a very early stage in the option appraisal process whether a PPP approach is likely to deliver value for money (vfm); where it is not, a public sector comparator (PSC) will not be constructed. Only when it is concluded, following careful consideration, that PPP is likely to offer vfm, will a PSC normally be developed.

Against this background, and with the maturing of the PPP process and the PPP market, it is likely that a high proportion of projects which do embark on the PPP route will contract on that basis, with competition helping to secure value for money and the PSC acting as a quantitative aid to informing judgment.

PPP deals continue to account for only a small proportion of the total sums invested to improve the delivery of public services. Public sector gross investment is projected to rise from £19 billion in 2000–01 to £35.2 billion in 2003–04. Over the same period, capital investment by the private sector through PFI will be about £3 billion annually.

So far as the Treasury as a Department is concerned, there have been no projects within the terms of the hon. Member's question.