The secrecy that accompanies privatization schemes also makes it a lot harder to figure out when there are serious problems.
What's being done in Britain will look very familiar to Ontario residents who saw how P3 privatization schemes were rebranded in that province.
“Nova Scotians have already wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on other costly P3 projects — more than 30 schools, toll roads, and the Burnside jail, just to name a few. Why are we going down this road again?" — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
“It looks like Ford is setting the stage to go on a rampage that will make Mike Harris look like a choir boy.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
It’s so common for politicians who privatized public services when in office to be hired by companies that profit from privatization after they retire that it rarely gets questioned.
“In our view, the value-for-money analyses were of little use to decision makers because they contained many flaws favouring the P3 model.” – Office of the Auditor General of Canada
What the EU Court of Auditors found was that, even though the public were paying €1.5 billion for cost overruns, they were also providing investors with returns of up to 14 per cent.
Despite election promises, "we have seen a steady erosion of funding that's putting services at risk. That’s not what Manitobans want and it’s not what the Premier promised them.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
For governments, trying to transfer the risk of delays in construction or cost overruns to the private sector with a P3 privatization scheme is like gambling in a casino. You might come away a bit richer, but there’s a much, much better chance you’ll lose money.
The failure of Carillion is yet another example of how the myth that P3 privatization schemes save the public money by transferring risk to the private sector doesn't reflect reality.