Independence is key to recovery
Following news that the Bank of England has slashed its growth forecasts for the UK economy to almost zero, Glasgow SNP MSP Bob Doris has renewed calls for immediate capital investment to stimulate economic growth and create jobs. The SNP has been calling on Tory Chancellor George Osborne to change tack on the economy, including providing the UK Government with specific details of 36 infrastructure projects in Scotland which are ‘shovel-ready’ and worth an estimated £302 million.
The quarterly inflation report indicated no growth for 2012 compared with 2% predicted a year ago, and 0.8% predicted earlier in the year. The bigger than expected contraction in the economy this year was attributed to falls in construction output, supporting SNP calls for capital investment in ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure projects.
Bob Doris MSP said: “The outlook doesn’t need to be this bleak. Tackling Government borrowing can’t be done by shrinking the economy.
“The Scottish Government has taken every reasonable measure within its limited remit to kick-start construction and infrastructure projects, but this simply isn’t enough when we lack control over much of our resources.
“In Scotland we have identified projects which could get under way without delay including Clyde Gateway developments worth £37 million in Glasgow and Rutherglen, £35 million of investment in Scotland's university sector and £15 million of priority investments within local authority strategic housing investment plans.
“As the UK heads back towards recession the Chancellor should reflect on the wisdom of those who predicted his policies would lead us all to this pitiful position. “
Former CBI director-general Sir Richard Lambert this week called for the Chancellor to invest in the construction industry with a ‘bold scheme’ on housing.
Speaking on Radio 4, Sir Richard said:
“The IMF last month said if growth doesn’t start to pick up soon there’s a case for the Chancellor changing tack – I think that’s going to be the question for this autumn...
“One thing is getting some jobs in the economy and the obvious way to do that is through the construction sector and the obvious need there is in housing. So I think he should be thinking about some bold scheme on housing."
Bob Doris added: “Respected voices from the world of business, like Sir Richard Lambert, are criticising Tory economic policy on a frequent basis. It really is time for Cameron and Osborne to wake up to reality.
“The Scottish Government has brought forward a £105 million economic stimulus package to create jobs. With the powers of an Independent Scottish Parliament we could do so much more to get the economy moving."
Comments from Sir Richard Lambert on Radio 4 Today programme (8/8/2012)