More investment needed
The UK Government has been urged to increase the money available for Scotland to spend on infrastructure projects to provide an immediate boost to the economy.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made the call as she attended the British-Irish Council in Cardiff.
This follows Finance Secretary John Swinney’s letter to the Chancellor which highlighted that there is a range of projects that could begin construction before the end of 2013 -14, maximising opportunities to create jobs and growth, if the UK Government were to make extra capital spending available.
Ms Sturgeon, who is also the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, said:
“The scale of the UK Governments cuts to public investment are acting as a key drag on economic growth. They are too deep, too quick and are holding the whole of the UK back.
“The Scottish Government is taking forward a range of initiatives to stimulate our economy.
“A key action is a major programme of investment in capital infrastructure - despite the significant cuts by the UK Government to our capital budget of around a third between 2010-11 and 2014-15.
“But there is only so much we can do within our limited powers.
“That is why we are calling on the UK Government to provide a much needed stimulus to the economy through increasing capital investment which creates jobs and increases confidence in the short term, and creates long term assets for sustainable growth.
“We have highlighted a fresh set of projects across Scotland that could get underway in short order should the UK Government make extra capital investment available now.
“The Chancellor must act in his Autumn Statement in December – the whole of the UK economy needs it. We are ready to put extra spending to immediate use in Scotland, stimulating growth and creating substantial numbers of new jobs.”
- Details of shovel ready projects
- The British-Irish Council was created under Strand Three of the Agreement reached at the Multi-Party Talks on Northern Ireland on Friday 10 April 1998 to “promote the harmonious and mutually beneficial development of the totality of relationships among the people of these islands”. It was formally established by an Agreement signed by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of Ireland on 8 March 1999, which came into force on 2 December 1999.
- The Members of the British-Irish Council are the Irish and UK Governments, together with the devolved Administrations of the Scottish and Welsh Governments and Northern Ireland Executive, the Government of the Isle of Man and the States of Jersey and Guernsey.