Economists say councils face PFI cash time-bomb – Herald Scotland

Local authorities in Scotland face a financial time-bomb on PFI projects for schools because of a series of flawed assumptions made when they entered into contracts, according to a new analysis by independent experts.

Gaps towards the end of some long contracts when central government funding runs out, over-optimism on associated land sales, and an ???astounding??? failure to allow for inflation being higher than predicted, are all contributing to the grim picture.

One unnamed local authority has already decided to raise future council tax by 1% annually for 12 years just to honour the PFI contract entered into.

Economists Margaret and Jim Cuthbert, who made extensive use of Freedom of Information requests to gather their data, say that five councils only made private finance deals viable by building specific increases into council tax to fund them.

SQA Computing blog: Internet Safety course is free this week for Safer Internet Day

This week we are offering the Internet Safety course for free as part of SQA’s contribution to Safer Internet Day, which takes place tomorrow.

We plan to use social media to give learners a taste of the Internet Safety course. It’s completely free and there is no (formal) assessment. All you need to access the course is a smartphone (or a PC).

The week-long course will sample the contents of the Internet Safety award, which includes topics such as on-line fraud, identity theft, grooming, and protecting yourself against viruses. It’s suitable for all learners, young or old. You can do as much, or little, of the course as time permits.

Signing-up for the course is easy. Simply follow us on Twitter and we will take care of the rest! If you don’t already use Twitter, you can sign-up here. If you really don’t want to use Twitter (and we would prefer it if you did) then you can access the course blog directly (but you will miss out on some of the course interaction).