Haughey emphasises Public Private Partnerships

Denis Haughey, Minister in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, has confirmed the Administration’s commitment to improving its public service infrastructure and emphasised the opportunities on offer through Public Private Partnerships.

The Minister was speaking on Thursday June 27, at a public consultation seminar in the Oaklin House Hotel, Dungannon, as part of the ‘Financing our Future’ consultation on opportunities for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Executive is currently undertaking a detailed consultation on the issues it faces in relation to investment in public services in the future, including consideration of the full range of possible sources of funding. The focus for the consultation will be the "Review of Opportunities for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Northern Ireland" Working Group report.

The seminars aim to inform the public about the PPP Working Group report and to invite comments on both the Report’s key recommendations and the range of funding sources available for improving Northern Ireland’s public service infrastructure.

Mr Haughey said: "Taking the prospect of a more strategic approach to PPPs together with the Reinvestment and Reform Initiative we now have a major opportunity to accelerate investment in Northern Ireland’s essential infrastructure – to meet some of the most pressing needs of our public services. Consideration must be given during the consultation to the full range of possible sources of funding, and how they can best be used to address the needs of the region.

"We are currently facing an investment deficit of at least £6bn over the next decade and in order to make the vital improvements which are needed, we will examine all the possibilities. No single solution alone – be it borrowing, PPPs or more traditional public expenditure – is likely to be sufficient to meet the challenge of improving our public services."

The Minister said that he recognised that there are a number of concerns about the use of PPPs and these would be addressed fully and carefully in any PPP approaches that were taken forward.

Mr Haughey added: "While PPPs are not a panacea for our investment difficulties, clearly they have the potential to improve efficiency, provide value for money and deliver services sooner than would otherwise be possible."

In conclusion, Mr Haughey said that the Administration was keen to hear the public’s views on such an important issue and urged those views to be made known by 20 September, the closing date for written submissions.


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