North Lanarkshire Council is facing a bill of £22.5 million in PFI repayments this financial year in what has been described as a ‘toxic legacy’.
The figure was revealed by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre which shows that the total cost of paying back Public Finance Initiative projects in 2017/18 will be £426.8 million for local authorities across Scotland.
Across the UK the figure will top £1 billion and continues to rise.
Motherwell and Wishaw Clare Adamson believes this continues to rob councils of vital funding for education and other public services.
She said: “The toxic legacy that PFI deals have left our schools and North Lanarkshire Council continues to cost millions of pounds every year.
“While Labour carp from the sidelines about the SNP’s record, it is increasingly clear that we are still paying for the mess that Labour left over a decade ago.
“Labour’s reckless handling of our public finances continues to rob North Lanarkshire of funds which
could be put towards delivering better local services.
“It’s high time that Labour apologised for this toxic legacy that they’ve left for our schools, North Lanarkshire and local authorities across the country.”
Council leader Jim Logue claimed he would never apologise for building new schools.
He said: “This is just the latest example of the SNP talking North Lanarkshire down when it comes to education and clearly illustrates the lack of vision they have for the area.
“Their hypocrisy is astonishing, give that several of their own infrastructure projects have been hit after running foul of strict EU rules on public spending.
“We will never apologise for building state of the art schools to provide children in North Lanarkshire with the best possible start in life, and we are committed to continuing that support, with £53m of additional investment announced in this year’s budget.
“We believe it’s time the SNP got behind the people of North Lanarkshire and support Labour’s ambitious plans for education.”