Scottish minister seeks more fiscal powers
Speaking at today’s ‘Financing Scottish Infrastructure’ event hosted by Partnerships Bulletin, Sturgeon said the pipeline of Scottish infrastructure projects was growing and in order to decide the “pace and expenditure” for projects, central government needed to delegate more fiscal powers her way.
“At the moment there is still a lack of clarity in the government’s approach funding infrastructure,” Sturgeon said. “We’re hopeful the chancellor will use the Autumn statement to announce further capital stimulus.”
Commenting on the government’s austerity measures, Sturgeon said central government had “gone too far and too quickly,” leading to counter-productivity in the growth of future infrastructure projects.
“The current approach is undermining growth in Scottish infrastructure and it’s important that we have the additional capital for shovel-ready projects,” she added. “At the current rate, we will have to borrow £100bn more than forecast in 2010, when the original austerity measures were set.”
Outlining her commitment to long-term infrastructure, Sturgeon said she intends to cover all sectors over infrastructure, focusing on economic growth with a “clear sight”. She outlined 54 different projects and approximately 33 programmes to be implemented between now and 2030.
Sturgeon said the progress of these projects had a knock-on effect throughout the Scottish economy, “enabling businesses to thrive,” supporting over 8,000 jobs and increasing sustainable economic growth in Scotland.
“Over a three-year period the government will support infrastructure development through asset-based investment, switching more than £700m from the resource budget to capital spending,” Sturgeon added. “These are all short-term boosts to the economy, but need to be seen within the context of a longer term strategic approach.”