Sunday, October 29, 2006

Recent Bonfires- 37

We are not alone... sadly

In the news this week:

PFI hospitals cost £45bn more- "A finance scheme to build new schools and hospitals... will cost taxpayers an extra £45bn over the next three decades.... the eventual repayments for 83 hospital building projects worth £8bn would total £53bn under the private finance initiative (PFI). Under PFI, hospitals have been locked into "mortgage" payments over 30 or 40 years, at a time when the government was talking about moving much of healthcare out of hospitals. "It is perverse that, with hospitals around the country now suffering cutbacks and closures, over 80 NHS organisations are locked into long-term contracts for the building of large hospitals that we have no idea whether the NHS will actually need. The extra cost of £45bn is complete lunacy in the context of an NHS under intolerable financial pressure." (Guardian 27.10.06)

£2bn blown on Millenium duds- "IN Glasgow the revolving tower is stuck fast, Portsmouth’s waterfront landmark opened five years late, and near Doncaster a showcase for eco-friendly living is to be bulldozed to make way for a housing estate. The troubled schemes were all funded with millions of pounds from the national lottery by the millennium commission to provide a lasting statement about Britain in the year 2000. As the commission prepares to wind up at the end of the year, however, an audit of projects has shown that much of the commission’s £2 billion was “squandered”. More than half the projects have either closed, opened late or encountered serious problems... Chris Smith, Labour’s first culture secretary, said in 1997 that millennium projects would “reflect the aspiration and achievements of the British people as we cross the threshold of the year 2000”. (Sunday Times 28.10.06)

£10 grand on daytrips for convicted paedophile- "A CONVICTED paedophile strolls yards from a little boy at a top tourist spot - and astonishingly the pervert was on a trip paid for by YOU. Vile David Keating, 64, has has been freed to visit several historical sites in the past 18 months - at a cost of £10,000. The pot-bellied predator has Home Office permission to leave Chadwick Lodge secure unit in Milton Keynes, Bucks, for up to 10 hours at a time. Amazingly, he is often escorted by just one lone female member of staff. So far his travels have been restricted to the UK but we can reveal he has recently applied for - and received - a passport. As well as Kenilworth, Keating has enjoyed trips to family attractions such as Warwick Castle, Shakespeare's birthplace at Stratford-upon-Avon and the university town of Oxford. Next on his agenda are Leeds Castle in Kent and Nottingham Castle. A Chadwick Lodge source said last night: "It's outrageous we are wasting taxpayers' money taking people like this on day trips to wherever they fancy." (People 29.10.06)

Total for week- £47,000,010,000


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