A report to be released by the International Monetary Fund raises concerns that the British government is hiding 100 billion of public borrowing by keeping P3s off the government books. The IMF argues that P3 financing is government borrowing and should be included in public accounts.
When the government takes all the financial risks, this is a public activity and it has no business being treated as something outside the public sector budget, says Dr. Anne Krueger, the IMFs managing director.
British Chancellor and Finance Minister Gordon Brown has insisted on excluding P3 borrowing from public balance sheets.
The Blair government has been a strong advocate of P3s, called Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) in Britain, turning to private companies to build and manage hospitals, schools and other public infrastructure. The British government now owes 100 billion in repayments for P3 projects over the next twenty-five years.