Jane Hutt said:
"Capital investment is vital in this serious economic downturn. It is vital to the economy – both in the short term, for the stimulus it provides, and in providing the long term conditions for growth. It is also essential to the delivery of modern, high quality public services that people in Wales deserve and expect.
"Putting more money into infrastructure investment is essential. But it is equally important that we are clear and transparent about how we turn our priorities into investment. Through our Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan we will make this happen.
"As we develop the Plan it is essential that we draw on the highest quality expertise and advice available. That’s why I am particularly pleased that Gerry Holtham has agreed to add his considerable skills as an adviser for the Plan. His input will be invaluable as we develop Welsh solutions to levering-in additional funding."
The Minister also outlined how Centrally Retained Capital funding would be spent on projects across Wales. Jane Hutt said: “Today I am announcing almost £90million of funding over the next two years which demonstrates our continued commitment to supporting the economic recovery in Wales; protecting and improving frontline services and protecting the vulnerable in society."
From the Centrally Retained Capital fund:
- £32m has been allocated to education projects across Wales
- £16.6m has been allocated to health and early years projects
- £11.7m has been allocated to transport
- £10m has been allocated to support the roll out of residential and business access to Next Generation Broadband
- £15m has been allocated to increase the supply, choice and quality of our housing; and
- £2m has been allocated to support projects to reduce flood and coastal erosion risk.
Jane Hutt said:
"What I have outlined today supports our priorities in our Programme for Government and our Budget for Growth and Jobs. I want to provide stability and certainty for the private sector, not just now but for the years to come. The funding I have announced today will help to do this by supporting up to 1,000 jobs a yearin construction and related activities over the next two years.
"We also need to do more to help local authorities maintain prudent levels of borrowing and investment. We have been working closely with local government to develop an initiative to boost borrowing over the next few years.
"The initial focus will be on enabling borrowing of between £100m to - £170m to fund much needed local highway improvement schemes in all parts of Wales. I will be announcing further details on this initiative shortly. We will also be working closely with the housing sector to maximise their borrowing activities.
"We will continue to work together with the business community and public sector to help the Welsh economy through these very difficult times. By presenting a positive image of Wales we can increase the confidence of Welsh businesses and build a strong Welsh economy."