Grants / Projects we are funding

Jubilee Scotland – Scotland against PPPs

Grant details


Awarded on:01/01/2022

Duration:18 months


Area of interest

Systems change

Themes covered


The way that public infrastructure projects are financed and managed is still being run with profit as the driving principle in Scotland, although the use of public private partnerships has been all but phased out in England. The poor value that this delivers for the Scottish public needs to be challenged.

What is the issue?

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) have saddled the Scottish public sector with debt, poor service, lack of accountability, and unsafe buildings. The Scotland Against PPPs campaign will develop a feasible alternative to PPPs, secure political and public support for this alternative and introduce a Member’s Bill which puts an end to the use of PPPs in Scotland.

In a nutshell, the problem is that Scotland depends on PPPs for delivering infrastructure projects and essential services in the education and health sector. There are four main reasons that this is problematic: (1) PPPs are poor value for money: PPP projects are highly lucrative for the private sector, hidden debt is accumulated for local councils and limited public finances are misused. (2) PPPs lead to declining service standards: taxpayers’ money is spent on assuring a profit to company shareholders rather than the best possible service for the public. (3) PPPs have meant a loss of accountability: details of PPP deals are protected by corporate confidentiality which hinders scrutiny of how corporations use taxpayers’ money. (4) PPPs mean unsafe and unusable buildings: in PPP projects infrastructure is built with profit in mind for the investor, rather than quality for the taxpayer.

What will the project try to achieve?

Jubilee Scotland will:

  • Build a broad coalition of experts on the PPP issue
  • Develop a detailed policy paper which outlines an innovative alternative to PPPs
  • Secure cross-party support for ending PPPs at the Scottish Parliament
  • Build public support for the messages and policy ideas
  • Introduce a Members’ Bill which targets PPPs in the most relevant way

The aim is to make sure that the Scottish people get a financing model which has safety, quality and value for money at its heart, and which puts accountability to the taxpayer before the interests of big business

Who might be interested in this project?

Anyone who is interested in how privatisation of the public sector impacts communities, how public ownership can be re-established, and how accountability and sustainability can be increased in public projects.