PFI was coming in when I was a Cabinet Minister. I remember surprising officials by turning down seeking a PFI proposal for a new hospital and saying we should do it from state borrowing as it would be cheaper.
Andrew Lansley is right to highlight bad value contracts, and to try to do something to correct them. The private sector may have been better at keeping construction to budget and to timetable, which argued for suitable contracts to do just that. Adding in twenty or thirty years of responsibility for the building and including borrowing the money meant higher prices overall in some cases. These are now proving dear for taxpayers, and inflexible at a time when we need to do more for less.