Maastricht treaty limits on public spending may have fuelled private finance, argues Ted Watson. Plus other readers’ views on the controversial funding mechanism
George Monbiot (Opinion, 17 January) asserts that the PFI bosses fleeced us all. Twenty years ago there were exceptions. Oxfordshire county council and many other councils recognised its deceptive creative accounting and avoided using PFI.
Central government does not distinguish between irresponsible borrowing for revenue and responsible borrowing for capital. Both are in the public spending borrowing requirement (PSBR) which central government wished to present as low (a high PSBR leads to austerity to reduce it), so it restricted local government’s borrowing and used PFI to disguise its own borrowing.
Extreme weather, such as droughts in Australia, pose significant risk to growth, IMF warns
The International Monetary Fund has lifted its forecasts for global growth, saying momentum is building in global economic activity and Donald Trump’s tax cuts in the US are likely to stimulate activity further.
It says the growth momentum is expected to carry into 2018 and 2019, and it has revised upwards its global growth forecasts by 0.2 percentage points for both years, from 3.7% to 3.9%.
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Related: Technology will widen pay gap and hit women hardest – Davos report
Forecasts upgraded for 2017, 2018 and 2019, adding to positive mood ahead of Davos gathering
Sterling trading at highest since 2016 Brexit vote
The UK’s biggest supermarket aims to make £1.5bn in cost savings by 2020.
Payroll provider ADP said it is acquiring WorkMarket, a startup that specializes in workforce management software that operates across a wide range of employees and contractors, for an undisclosed sum. The software aims to create a kind of unified interface for managing an extended workforce that can include a variety of workers with different employment status, from contractors and… Read More
Beauty blogger Amena Khan apologises after tweets she wrote in 2014 are branded as ‘anti Israel’.
William Hill and Ladbrokes are hit by suggestions that the maximum bet on machines could be slashed.
The IMF’s economic forecast says prospects for the global economy have picked up, especially for Europe and Asia.