Osborne must shift on investment - or be shifted

The Prime Minister should ditch Osborne as Chancellor if he continues to ignore calls for an injection of capital investment, the SNP has said.

Nine of the twenty economists who backed George Osborne in the run-up to the 2010 election have now urged the Treasury to borrow money to boost infrastructure spending, heaping further pressure on the Tory-led coalition to change course. Only one still endorses the position of the Chancellor.

Meanwhile, Mike Peasland, the Chief Executive of UK construction at Balfour Beatty, praised the SNP Government’s investment in infrastructure and the Scottish Futures Trust.

In an article in today’s Herald (Thursday 16 August), Mr Peasland praised the way the Scottish Government has dealt with things and stated that “we are a bit more upbeat about the Scottish market”. Mr Peasland also praised Scotland’s “agility” in attracting inward investment and hailed the vital support that the Scottish Government had provided by investing in infrastructure.

The SNP’s Treasury Spokesperson Stewart Hosie has said that – with the UK now in a double-dip recession due to Osborne’s failed austerity measures – the Chancellor must now change course, or he should be shuffled out of Government.

Commenting, Mr Hosie said:

“Funding capital projects is the single most effective way in which we can get the economy moving again. Every new set of economic statistics outline the damage being done by the Tory-led coalition’s failure to act.

“The support that the Chancellor used to boast about has evaporated, as his austerity policy is shown to have failed – leaving Mr Osborne an isolated figure.

“The SNP Government has consistently called for investment in shovel-ready projects, so that we can get the economy moving again as swiftly as possible.

“Those calls have been backed by countless people, and even by nine of the twenty economists who backed George Osborne before the 2010 general election. Only one still supports his approach.

“The UK economy is now back in recession – destroying the last vestiges of credibility of Osborne’s austerity agenda. And with even his own supporters now deserting him, it is time for Osborne to change course and start investing in vital infrastructure projects.

“If Osborne won’t shift, he will have to be shifted.”