Brown Being Forced To Come Clean Over Health Stealth Tax

Gordon Brown is being forced to come clean over a “stealth tax” that will saddle every man, woman and child in Britain with a debt of £1,700. For 10 years the Chancellor has kept billions of pounds’ worth of borrowing “off the books” – hiding the true scale of debt burdening Britain’s workers.

But the true costs of Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) – branded a “stealth tax on the future” – will soon be forced into the open by changes being imposed on the Treasury’s accounts.

The reforms may reveal the full extent of the debt legacy the Chancellor has left Britain after a decade in office. And it comes in the wake of Freedom of Information revelations that showed how he had ignored warnings about the impact of his annual £5billion raid on pension funds.

The pensions tax grab scandal has raised fresh concerns about transparency at the Treasury and the Chancellor’s fitness to take over as Prime Minister, which will be debated in the Commons on Tuesday.

Long-awaited revelations about the hidden costs of PFI to Britain’s taxpayers will only pile on the pressure as Mr Brown prepares his leadership bid.

Under PFI, a private company pays the up-front costs of building a school, hospital or other public project and is re-paid over a period of up to 30 years for capital and maintenance costs.

Much of the investment is listed on the Treasury’s books as day-to-day “current” spending, rather than debt. Critics claim PFI is mortgaging the future, but Mr Brown has embraced a scheme which allows him to boost state spending without a rise in the official level of Government borrowing.