This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Minister sets out long term investment
The Executive's investment plans will provide Scottish business opportunities to help grow the Scottish economy, Parliament was told today.
Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform Tom McCabe detailed the Executive's investment plan including schools, hospitals, housing and transport projects, which are set out for the first time in Infrastructure Investment Plan: Investing in the Future of Scotland.
The main aim of the Plan is to provide a longer term vision of the investment plans to enable the public and private sectors to plan ahead and work together to ensure efficient delivery. For the private sector there are clear work and investment opportunities.The Plan should, therefore, provide better public services as well as growing the economy.
Speaking at a Parliamentary debate at Holyrood, Mr McCabe said:
"This Plan aims to ensure that we improve the business economy in Scotland by improving the co-ordination of infrastructure investment, not only across Executive departments but across Scotland. The Plan shows that business can play a crucial role in renewing Scotland's infrastructure - underlining that a strong public sector can help the private sector flourish.
"Our aim is to inform private sector interests and potential suppliers of services with likely timings to ensure they can scale their resources to meet the challenges posed. This will be backed by industry days and other information.
"The Plan will also allow taxpayers to understand planned investment in their area. We are committed to improving the standard of our infrastructure such as the transport network and school buildings which in turn should help us deliver public services more efficiently.
"I am committed to managing our investment wisely and not just allocating funds without thinking of the consequences. The Plan sets out the Executive's broad strategy by portfolio area to ensure communities across Scotland benefit from modern new facilities.
"I also welcome and want to encourage the public and private sectors to work together. It is time to end the political dogma over public sector delivery in Scotland and time to recognise and use the best of both the public and private sectors. Only then will we be able to secure a distinctive Scottish approach to our development.
"The Infrastructure Investment Plan shows a consistent high level of investment over at least the next ten years. This is badly needed if we are to improve the condition of Scotland's physical fabric and ensure that we create sound infrastructure which will last for the long term.
"This is our opportunity to improve public services and it is important to see it through for the benefit of people in communities across Scotland."
The Executive will increase capital spending by more than five per cent, in real terms each year, from 2005 to 2008. The Plan will be implemented through a 'mixed economy' of funding - conventional public sector capital spending, partnership arrangements, PPPs and a prudential regime.
The Plan sets out the Executive's future investment plans by portfolio area and includes:
- £3 billion investment, over 10 years, in Scotland transport infrastructure;
- £3 billion to meet the target of renewing and modernising 300 schools by 2009;
- £500 million for a Strategic Waste Fund to help local authorities improve their recycling and waste treatment facilities; and
- £420 million to be spent over the next three years to improve and modernise Scotland's colleges and universities.
A spokesman from the Scottish Construction Forum said:
"I very much welcome this strategic initiative by the Scottish Executive, which will provide the construction industry in Scotland with improved continuity of workload. The Infrastructure Plan was the third key recommendation within the Modernising Construction Strategy and we are delighted that this has been achieved within the first year of the Forum's life. We look forward to engaging with the Minister to discuss implementation of the Plan."