Westminster set to snub shovel-ready projects

The UK Government are reportedly set to snub Scotland’s list of shovel ready projects which would create jobs, stimulate growth and boost the economy.

A detailed list of specific capital projects in Scotland was given to London - at request of David Cameron - but a Treasury insider has told the Mail on Sunday that the UK Gov won’t bring forward the money when Chancellor George Osborne delivers his Budget this week.

Maureen Watt, Convener of the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee at the Scottish Parliament, described the UK Government’s reported plans as a “huge political miscalculation”.

Ms Watt, SNP MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine, said: 

"The Prime Minister asked the Scottish Government to provide a detailed list of projects – SNP Ministers provided it – and now it would appear that they plan to ignore that call.

"We have done our bit, and shown that there are valuable capital spending projects that will boost the economy and provide work right across Scotland, that are ripe for investment now.

"If these projects got underway this year, rather than being delayed, they would generate significant employment and it is estimated that each additional £100 million of capital spending supports 1,400 jobs in the Scottish economy. They would also provide lasting benefits to local communities and to the nation.

"If, as reported, the Treasury’s motivation for rejecting something that David Cameron specifically asked for is a political one, in relation to the referendum, then the folly of their decision is all the more serious.

"The UK Tory-Lib Government has missed an open goal here - if there is no room in Mr Osborne’s Budget for our shovel ready projects then this is a huge political and economic miscalculation on their part.

"It demonstrates exactly why all of these decisions should be taken in Scotland - especially given that last year alone Scotland was in a stronger financial position than the UK as a whole to the tune of £2.7 billion, or £510 for every man, woman and child in Scotland."