I fully endorse calls by the Scottish Chambers of Commerce for a rapid expansion in the delivery of public infrastructure projects in Scotland. The long-term health of the Scottish economy relies on continued investment in major capital projects alongside new schools, hospitals and housing
The Scottish Building Federation is fully aware of the pressure the public finances are under with £3bn of cuts to the Scottish budget forecast between 2011 and 2014. We have set out our own proposals on ways to save public money, such as restructuring Scottish Water, and innovative mechanisms for mobilising private capital to supplement public capital spending – notably the creation of a National Infrastructure Investment Bank, which the Scottish Futures Trust could play a crucial role in delivering.
Whatever action is taken, ensuring a consistent flow of construction projects to support an industry that continues to make a major contribution to jobs, skills and GDP in Scotland must be a priority. As the Institute of Directors has also pointed out, the more quickly we can expand investment in capital infrastructure, the more quickly we will set the economy on a path to long-term sustainable economic growth.
Michael Levack, chief executive, Scottish Building Federation
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