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Reform And Reinvestment Initiative

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the interest rate for borrowings is under the Reform and Reinvestment Initiative; and what the interest rate for PPP projects is. [119041]

The Reinvestment and Reform Initiative (RRI) is about tackling Northern Ireland's infrastructure deficit and improving and reforming public services. As part of the RRI, there is the power to access borrowing from the National Loans Fund (NLF). The Public Works Loans Board (PWLB) is the statutory body that facilitates all lending from the NLF and they publish the interest rates through their website on a daily basis ( The interest rate on any loan will be dictated by the prevailing rate at the time it is drawn down.It is not appropriate to consider PPP projects as borrowing by the public sector. Rather, the PPP approach allows additional resources to be levered in from the private sector sooner than is possible under conventional procurement, with additional benefits in terms of value for money and efficiency. While the cost of capital for the private sector may be higher than borrowing from Treasury, this is mitigated by other cost, risk and service advantages inherent in the approach. Value for money over the lifetime of the contract is the key concept.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether water charges are included for the purposes of determining convergence with local taxation in Great Britain under the Reform and Reinvestment Initiative. [119043]