Norman is pushing for the contractors to take a 0.5 percent cut which they might well decide is worthwhile to deal with all the negative publicity that further scrutiny of PFI would bring. If these contractors want to take the PFI model global, then they can’t really afford the kind of coverage that a prolonged campaign would bring.
Another thing in Norman’s favour is that Treasury ministers are acutely aware of just how bad a deal for the taxpayers PFI is as the Treasury itself is run on a PFI contract. This contract led to Osborne being told, to his amazement, that fish and chips for six in his office from the canteen would cost £148.
If the PFI companies dig their heels in and refuse to compromise at all, they might find themselves losing far more than the £500 million that Norman wants to claw back.