The £800m typo

On 19 July, when the Cabinet Office released the numbers for construction spending over the next three years, a collective “what the … ?” could be heard across the industry. It was the figures for the Department of Health that set alarm bells ringing – they appeared to show a framework worth £2.9bn over five years tailing off to almost nothing in just three. For PFI meanwhile, on which the government was supposed to have gone lukewarm, spending was to expand rapidly. What was going on? Were these unfamiliar figures the scorched tyre marks from yet another screeching handbrake turn in government policy? I investigated for Building magazine and found there was a very simple explanation…  And I also uncovered this news story about a £90m PFI hospital on hold, as healthcare trusts struggle to come to terms with their new financial independence.

Author: Katie Puckett

I am an experienced journalist, copywriter and editor who has covered the built environment for nearly 20 years. I’ve interviewed thousands of senior executives, politicians and experts in many fields and travelled to report on stories throughout Europe, the US, the Gulf states and India. My articles have appeared in many business and professional titles including Building, Estates Gazette, Inside Housing, the Bartlett Review, Insurance Times and Lloyd’s Market. I am co-author, with architect Bill Gething, of Design for Climate Change, published by RIBA, and I launched and edit The Possible, a thought leadership magazine for global engineering firm WSP. I'm also co-founder of Wordmule, an editorial studio that specialises in buildings and cities.

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