Millions of pounds of public money is being salted away in offshore tax havens by an investment company which has put money into Private Finance Initiative schemes. BBC investigators have found that Guernsey-based HICL made £38 million profit in six months of 2010 alone from PFI public building projects (including nine NHS schemes), yet paid just £100,000 in British tax.
Last year HICL bought a 89.9 per cent stake in Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital PFI. It is estimated that £50 million is likely to paid out in dividends from QAH to the company over the next 30 years.
Nationally, banks which invested in PFI schemes have massive projected incomes for decades to come. They will receive many many times their original investments, guaranteed from the public purse, at a time when we are told we have to do without our public services to “pay back the debts”. Future generations are saddled with these debts. Hospitals burdened with the debts are repaying them by cutting services to patients. QAH has cut 700 jobs in 18 months. ■