Salmond demands funds for shovel ready projects
18 Jun 2012 02:49 PM
First Minister Alex Salmond recently again urged Westminster to give the go-ahead to infrastructure projects worth £300m to stimulate the economy.
A list of more than 30 projects that are “shovel ready” and would benefit communities across Scotland was provided to Westminster by the Scottish Government in March, but the Scottish Government is still waiting for funding to allow these projects to get underway.
If these go ahead now, they would provide a vital support to employment with every additional £100 million of capital spending estimated to support around 1,400 jobs across the Scottish economy.
The First Minister also highlighted that the Scottish Government is focussed on attracting overseas investment and widening export markets for Scottish produce.
His comments come as he begins a trade mission to the US to attract inward investment to Scotland.
Mr Salmond said: “The monetary stimulus announced by Westminster earlier this week is to be welcomed, but it’s not enough. There is a need for immediate capital stimulus, which these capital projects would provide.
“The Prime Minister asked that we provide a list of projects which were shovel ready back in March, and despite us providing this list, and repeated requests, no funding has yet been provided for these.
“Given the ever more urgent need to protect the economy from the financial turmoil in Europe, it is vital that Westminster provides the funding to allow these projects to start now.
“These projects, which would benefit communities all over Scotland, would generate significant employment which is vital as we continue to do all we can to tackle unemployment.
“The Scottish Government will go on doing what we can, but we need the UK Government to release these funds to get these projects built as soon as possible.
“This highlights the limitations of the current constitutional arrangements. Our inability to borrow means work is delayed while we await the green light from Westminster, and this is completely unacceptable.
“The UK government’s austerity approach has failed, and what we now need is an approach which maximises exports to, and investment from, parts of the world which are not as badly affected by the global recession or where there are opportunities to attract inward investment, tourism and increase exports.
“My trip to the United States will send out the message that Scotland is open for business.”