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The leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) has called Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) “a disaster” and is demanding the abolition of P3s in Scotland.

Scotland is heading to the polls in May. Alex Salmond has pledged that the SNP would use public bond issues to improve the infrastructure deficit.

The centre-left SNP, which campaigns for Scottish independence, is leading the ruling Labour Party and other rivals in opinion polls.

P3s are unpopular in Scotland. The Scottish Executive has had to buy out several projects, at an inflated rate, from authorities that cannot afford the project payments.

Scotland’s Parliament, which sits in Edinburgh, was created in 1998 after a referendum. The first elections were held in 1999. The UK’s Parliament at Westminster still constitutes the supreme legislature of Scotland, but it has devolved some of its responsibilities to the Scottish Parliament, including education and health. The Scottish Parliament has the power to pass laws in these areas, but has limited capability to levy taxes.