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Budget: £4 billion for infrastructure

Published: 16 Dec 2015 13:56
Part of:
Economy

£90 million extra to support the first step in 50,000 new affordable homes commitment.

Around £4 billion is to be invested over the next year in infrastructure – including house building, transport and digital links, including £1 billion for road and rail infrastructure and £90 million for affordable housing.

The investment, announced as part of the Scottish Government's 2016-17 Budget, is being described by the Infrastructure Secretary as a plan 'to improve infrastructure and increase house building'.

The figure also includes the government's taking forward of the ambitious programme of revenue funded investment in health, schools and transport, and addresses the budgeting implications of recent changes to EU statistical classification of private and public boundaries for the government's programme of revenue-financed infrastructure investment. Following the ONS review of updated EU budgeting guidelines on the balance of public and private sector control and risk and reward in Scotland's NPD funding model, a number of projects are now being classified to the public sector for budgeting purposes.

Speaking in Parliament this afternoon, John Swinney has detailed:

  • Total investment in housing supply of around £690 million
  • an increase of around £90 million in affordable housing supply year-on-year – the first step in the Scottish Government's commitment to provide 50,000 new affordable homes by 2020-21
  • £1 billion investment in roads and transport projects, including the electrification of the Edinburgh-Glasgow rail line and of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.
  • Further investment in total of more than £130 million for Scotland's digital strategy, mostly supporting infrastructure to help towards our 2017 target to ensure 95 per cent of premises in Scotland have access to next generation broadband, alongside our investment through the Emergency Services project, which will enhance mobile coverage.

The Deputy First Minister also committed to deliver the new Forth Replacement Crossing in line with the advanced timetable previously advised, the importance of which is highlighted by the temporary closure of the Forth Road Bridge for essential repairs.

Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown said:

"This is a Budget to improve infrastructure and increase house building by a total of some £4 billion, and as such it as a Budget to invest in protect and extend our economic recovery.

"We are committing to an increase of £90 million in affordable housing supply compared to 2015-16 – and a total investment of around £690 million in housing. This will support our overall commitment to delivering 50,000 new affordable homes by 2020-21.

"Transport infrastructure is also a critical part of this Budget. There will be over £1 billion invested in roads and transport projects, including the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and the electrification of the Glasgow-Edinburgh rail line.

"Alongside that of course is the completion of the new Forth Replacement Crossing. The current temporary closure of the Forth Road Bridge for essential repairs has served to highlight the need for the new Crossing and I am pleased to say this Budget will allow it to progress towards completion in line with the latest timescales previously advised.

"Digital connectivity is another key plank of our strategy to harness the opportunities of digital across all aspects of Scottish life and we are investing £130 million to help meet our 95 per cent next generation broadband target.

"We have long placed considerable emphasis on public sector investment in infrastructure to stimulate economic recovery and that is what has driven much of the post-recession growth in Scotland. This Budget supports that continued growth through improving infrastructure and investing in housing to ensure all Scots can benefit from these opportunities."

Notes to editors

Full budget document www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/12/9056