Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne have trumpeted ten waste infrastructure projects starting over the next year even though their Government withdrew PFI funding for four of them.
Highlighting £36bn of infrastructure projects in the UK during a visit to Skanska’s UK headquarters, Cameron said: “As a crucial part of our long term economic plan this Government is backing business with better infrastructure so that more jobs and opportunities are created for hardworking people, meaning more financial security and peace of mind for families.”
The Government listed ten waste infrastructure projects with projected start dates for 2014-15 as part of its plan.
But Defra withdrew PFI funding for four of them: the South London Waste Partnership, Milton Keynes and Gloucestershire projects in October 2010, while PFI funding for the North Yorkshire project was withdrawn in May 2013.
The 10 projects began life under the previous Labour administration.
Steve Lee, chief executive at the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), said: “We welcome the fact that David Cameron and George Osborne recognise that waste infrastructure is a nationally important issue.
“However, we are surprised to see that the list of projects highlighted includes major waste projects from which the Government withdrew its funding.”
“Our industry has an important role to play in delivering sustainable economic growth and improved resource efficiency. It needs investment and it needs it soon. We would very much like to see more detail about how future waste infrastructure fits into the government’s ‘long term economic plan’.”
Last year the Government’s National Infrastructure Plan 2013 revealed that waste infrastructure projects would need to prove themselves under market conditions and could not rely on public sector investment.