The Scottish budget deal agreed by MSPs this week is not the budget for recovery that the building industry has been crying out for
An additional £16m for housing is welcome but overall, capital investment still bears the brunt of public funding cuts.
MSPs had an opportunity to grasp the nettle on restructuring Scottish Water, which could have generated significant savings for re-investment in capital projects.
Funding the £2bn new Forth Crossing entirely through traditional capital investment will also place an additional strain on capital expenditure at a time when spending has already been significantly cut back.
Bold pledges were also made on the delivery of more modern apprenticeships. However, such pledges ring somewhat hollow if we fail to invest in those industries offering apprentices the greatest number of long-term employment opportunities.
Construction has traditionally offered more of these opportunities than any other sector of the Scottish economy.
A budget to build sustainable economic recovery in Scotland would have released more funding for capital investment. This week’s deal is a real opportunity lost.