Scots adopt ‘Plan MacB’ to build for growth

Aaron Morby 10 years ago

The Scottish Government plans to deliver a Plan B-style spending boost on construction to prevent the economy tumbling into recession.

Scottish ministers unveiled their £9bn construction stimulus budget on Wednesday, releasing £750m of new money for building and infrastructure projects.

The SNP Government Budget ignores previous UK spending guidelines, which assumed a third would chopped from capital spending by 2014.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said that lessons could be learnt from Scotland’s record on growth and job creation.

Universal support was given to switching £750m from day-to-day spending into the capital expenditure budget with hopes that it will offer a boost to the construction sector and avoid a double dip recession.

Swinney said: “This spending review contains tough choices because of the cuts from Westminster that go too far, too fast.”

Pledges on transport projects, renewable energy and affordable homes were also welcomed in what has been dubbed as Scotland’s “Plan MacB”,.

Infrastructure minister Alex Neil said: “Overall, our investment will mean funding a new Forth Replacement Crossing.

“It will mean meeting our commitment to deliver 30,000 affordable homes over the life of this parliament.

“And it will mean a significant investment in our transport network, with key projects such as the Aberdeen bypass, Borders railway, and the Edinburgh-Glasgow rail improvements all supported.”

    Project spending commitments

  • Forth Crossing
  • Borders rail link
  • Edinburgh-Glasgow rail improvement
  • Aberdeen Western Peripheral bypass
  • Improvements to the M8
  • Upgrade the A82 between Crianlarich and Pulpit Rock
  • New Grampian Prison
  • Dundee V&A
  • Deliver 30,000 affordable homes

Of the £9bn investment, about £2.5bn will be private money brought in by the SNP’s Non-Profit-Distributing-Model, where profits are capped.

The plans include a sharp rise in business taxes over three years and an extension of the public sector pay freeze.

The overall roads maintenance budget will fall over the next three years and the housing budget will also fall from £268m to £155m in the next year. But there will be separate funding for 5,000 new council homes.

    Infrastructure and capital spending budget

  • 2011-12: £2,126m
  • 2012-13: £2,225m
  • 2013-14: £2,300m
  • 2014-15: £2,388m

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