Scottish Labour have made clear that their over-riding priority in this election campaign is the delivery of an uneconomic and unnecessary rail link from Paisley to Glasgow Airport.
In one of the more bizarre interventions in the campaign, Andy Kerr has turned a dispute over exports into another Labour moan about the cancellation of the ill-conceived Glasgow Airport Rail Link. (GARL)
When the SNP took office in 2007, it inherited, at least, three questionable transport projects. These were: a tram project for Edinburgh and rail links for both Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports.
Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat MSPs voted to proceed with the Edinburgh Trams project to be delivered by Edinburgh City Council with £400 million support from the Scottish Government.
Since then, it has become clear that the project costs were seriously underestimated and the project has ground to a halt while the council and its contractors argue over who is to blame.
When the decision was made to continue with the Edinburgh tram project, which would serve Edinburgh airport, the Scottish Government cancelled the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link.
Preparatory work for GARL continued until it became clear that the costs for it had also been seriously underestimated and the benefits were highly questionable.
When the project was cancelled, Steven Purcell, the disgraced leader of Glasgow City Council, condemned the decision.
Since then, it has been Labour’s top priority project, featuring regularly in debates over public finances in Holyrood.
Lind Fabiani said:
“The SNP is committed to increasing Scottish exports by 50% over the next six years, which means that significant increases will be delivered over the next term of parliament.
“Meanwhile, Labour have kicked their export target into the long grass, talking only of doubling exports by ten years from now.
“Instead of addressing the issues that are of concern to exporters, such as support from the banks and help with information on target countries, Andy Kerr uses the debate on exports as another excuse to talk up GARL.
“It is quite clear that Edinburgh’s tram fiasco has taught Labour nothing about managing Scotland’s finances. Having Iain Gray and Andy Kerr in charge of Scotland’s finances is guaranteed to damage Scotland’s economy.
“After just four years in power, the SNP has demonstrated that it will use the public finances wisely to deliver for all of Scotland.”