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 The Green Party and Public Private Partnerships

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PostSubject: The Green Party and Public Private Partnerships   Fri May 23, 2008 3:48 pm

Now that the Green Party have been almost a year in Government as a small minority, it is timely to consider to what extent they are able to, and wish to, bring an alternative approach to governance beyond an immediate shopping list of green projects.

It is quite plain that the PDs through Mary Harney are being encouraged by the main Government party to push forward with a PPPs / Privatisation agenda for the health service.

What is the Green Party's attitude towards PPPs and privatisation?

Last November John Gormley indicated that major waste management plans will go ahead on a PPP basis.

Waste Management.

230. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he is satisfied that adequate funding will be provided by his Department to ensure that waste management and disposal conform to Government policy as set out in the programme for Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28924/07]

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Deputy John Gormley): Through the Environment Fund, and also more recently through the Exchequer, my Department co-funds the establishment of new recycling facilities by local authorities and also provides funding to subvent the operating costs of such facilities. Some €100m has been allocated in this way in respect of capital costs since 2002. This funding is provided in respect of facilities such as bring banks, civic amenity sites and materials recovery facilities. However, as provided for in the National Development Plan, heavy waste infrastructure, such as landfills or other significant disposal or recovery facilities, are not State funded but are to be provided by the private sector as entirely commercial developments or by local authorities by way of public private partnerships. In accordance with the Programme for Government my Department is committed to further expansion of the network of recycling facilities.


In relation to public housing, it is noticeable on the social and affordable housing PPPs fiasco in Dublin City Council that both the Taoiseach and an FF Minister for State for Finance have made statements, but John Gormley as the Minister responsible for development and implementation of public housing policy has not, so far as I can establish, said anything.

Reading the Party website, it is not easy to work out how the Greens believe that public spending should be funded. Does the Green Party policy on privatisation and on the PPPs approach?
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PostSubject: Re: The Green Party and Public Private Partnerships   Fri May 23, 2008 5:25 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Reading the Party website, it is not easy to work out how the Greens believe that public spending should be funded. Does the Green Party policy on privatisation and on the PPPs approach?

I can't figure it out either. It seems to be all over the place and as a result, is always open to be completely watered down to irrelevancies.
Despite that Sargent and the rest were certainly very critical of how expensive PPPs were, before the election at least.

Boyle on PPPs.
13_feb_07_national_development_finance_agency_bill

I think it's clear that the PPP structure itself is more expensive and less efficient than the public delivery of infrastructure. The PPP structure is unreformable via better regulation or bargaining better deals to make it cheaper than the public system, as it has a minimum profit and leasing pre-requisite which prevents this. Boyle above finished his speech in making a regulatory point comparing systems in the UK which is, I think, an attempt at some future wriggle room. But PPPs are more expensive everywhere, including the UK. So it becomes a critique with a getout clause to do nothing different.

The other argument, that it's quicker, is also incorrect as it ignores the lack of funding of the public system in comparison. If there were no Billions in public funds going towards colocation, no for-profit hospitals would be getting built. They be very slow in other words, and vice-versa wrt public alternatives.

And putting aside the moral or social justice arguments against paying unncessarily to bolster company profits by a required 15%, all of this buckling to a PD, neoliberal approach adds up into massive inefficiencies throughout an economy. Both in terms of delivery, overspending, unwillingness to repair existing infrastructure and increased transport consequences. These all have environmental outcomes. So the Greens might be blase at having dropped any social justice or equity side of their core policies but their stated intention of sticking to a list of (mainly posturing) environmental policies founders in this PPP area too.
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PostSubject: Re: The Green Party and Public Private Partnerships   Fri May 23, 2008 6:09 pm

Boyle's speech was interesting - here is an extract:

Quote :
On these grounds we need a wider debate on what PPPs are, why we are making so much use of them and why insufficient questions are asked about why they seem to fail in terms of cost to the public purse and the infrastructure they are meant to deliver.
Quote :
This argument does not seem to ring through with the Government. While the rate of increase of their use does not seem as great as it was under the previous Minister for Finance, a significant amount of money is allocated in this way in the Government's development plan. I am slow to call it a national development plan, as I do not see the extent to which the nation has been involved in creating it and will benefit from it ultimately. Many elements of the plan need to be revisited. Approximately ?16 billion of the ?184 billion is designated to come from private sector finance sources, which is close to 10% of the total package. The people should be aware that the Government has embarked on somewhat of a gamble in asking that significant public infrastructure should be provided in this way.

I wonder if the Greens have pressed for revisiting it, particularly as the gamble has not paid off in so far as the housing programme is concerned?
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PostSubject: Re: The Green Party and Public Private Partnerships   Sat May 24, 2008 3:05 am

I think these overtly political threads demean the Forum.
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PostSubject: Re: The Green Party and Public Private Partnerships   Sat May 24, 2008 5:58 pm

seinfeld wrote:
I think these overtly political threads demean the Forum.

How childish.
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PostSubject: Re: The Green Party and Public Private Partnerships   Sat May 24, 2008 6:00 pm

Don't pay any attention, Pax: he's only saying that because we wouldn't talk about golf. Surprised
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PostSubject: Re: The Green Party and Public Private Partnerships   Sat May 24, 2008 6:01 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Don't pay any attention, Pax: he's only saying that because we wouldn't talk about golf. Surprised

Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The Green Party and Public Private Partnerships   Sat May 24, 2008 8:03 pm

Pax wrote:
seinfeld wrote:
I think these overtly political threads demean the Forum.

How childish.

Whereas ganging together in a little clique based on dislike of another poster is the epitome of maturity.
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PostSubject: Re: The Green Party and Public Private Partnerships   Sat May 24, 2008 8:07 pm

Seinfeld, if you don't want to discuss the topic of this thread, which you must be aware is in the remit of the site, that is fine, you don't have to. There are plenty of other threads out there that are not about party politics, to at least one of which you are making a constructive contribution.
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The Green Party and Public Private Partnerships
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