Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has welcomed the announcement that the Scottish Government is to spend up to £60bn to drive growth in the economy.
Linda said “The Infrastructure Investment Plan will see major investment in Scotland’s road and rail network strengthening business and creating jobs for people living in East Kilbride.
“Completing the M8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh along with the upgrading of the Raith Junction and associated network improvements, will enable East Kilbride companies to have better connections across the country.
“The next generation of broadband will rolled out to all as part of the Digital Future Strategy. Such connectivity will support future innovation in the digital economy and ensure Scotland’s business base can remain competitive in the global digital environment.
“The £1.25bn school building programme will help create good learning environments fit for delivery of Curriculum for Excellence, reducing the numbers of pupils in crumbling schools.
“The new schools will meet the highest standards of sustainability, helping meet climate change targets. The programme will provide employment opportunities across Scotland, with every local authority area receiving funding support for at least one building project.
“30,000 affordable homes will be built across Scotland over the five years of the Parliament creating both homes and jobs. There will also be a commitment to tackling fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency – something our South Lanarkshire College is leading the way on with their Aurora House.
The Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, Alec Neil published the Scottish Government’s Infrastructure and Investment Plan, which details plans for up to £60 billion of spending right up until 2030.
This investment will provide crucial support for employment, with every additional £100m of capital invested per year estimated to generate £160m worth of economic activity and support 1400 jobs in the wider economy for that year.
Mr Neil said “Investing in our infrastructure is absolutely vital to grow our economy. Today’s Infrastructure Investment Plan demonstrates exactly how, when and what we will invest in to deliver that goal, bringing substantial benefits for all of Scotland.
“It outlines more than 50 key infrastructure projects across a range of sectors. These are projects that will make a real difference economically – driving growth, supporting jobs and delivering a lasting legacy of generations to come.
“We have been crystal clear that we view capital investment as the vital foundation to lead us out of tough economic times. That is why, against the back drop of Westminster cuts in our capital budget, the Scottish Government has switched spending from revenue to capital and put in place a £2.5 billion Non-Profit Distributing pipeline. As a consequence of Scottish Government spending decisions, total capital spending in Scotland will rise by 25 per cent by 2014-15.
“Our clear commitment to dual the routes between all of our major cities by 2030 and complete the dualling of the A9 by 2025 goes further than any previous administration in Scotland. These improved connections will provide a huge boost for Scotland’s economic future and will be particularly welcomed by the construction and civil engineering sectors.
“Similarly, improvements in our rail network will provide both benefits to travellers, and a long term boost for our economy. Inclusion of High Speed Rail highlights our commitment to the Scottish end of the project. We now need Westminster to act and include Scotland in their plans.
“The Plan is also clear about our commitment to build new schools, colleges, hospitals and health facilities the length and breadth of Scotland.
“We will do this by using innovative financing methods, driving maximum value for every single pound of taxpayers’ money. That is crucial in the face of Westminster cuts.
“And we will utilise whatever borrowing powers we are able to access over coming years. Indeed, if the UK Government listens to our calls for more substantial and immediate powers than contained in the Scotland Bill, we could do even more.”
The Infrastructure Investment Plan is available to view at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/Recent
The Scottish Government will invest within a sustainable financial framework, and not overly constrain our choices in future years. That is why we are introducing a 5% cap on our future revenue commitments related to capital investment projects as a proportion of our expected future annual total DEL budget. These revenue commitments are a combination of existing PFI commitments, future NPD payments and future debt repayments.
The Scottish Government welcomes views on the investment pipeline in the IIP and will review it in the light of those views, changing circumstances (e.g. borrowing powers) and at each spending review.
We are using all levers at our disposal to ensure continued investment and over spending review period we will support investment of around £10 billion through capital budget, NPD pipeline and switching resource into capital. Including consequentials from Autumn Statement, total capital investment is thus:
Total estimated capital investment
2011-12 £2.8 billion
2012-13 £3.2 billion
2013-14 £3.3 billion
2014-15 £3.5 billion