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Wednesday 14th November 2012 | 12:45
SNP press release:
The SNP has reiterated calls for the UK government to invest in capital spending after the publication of today’s labour market statistics and as the Bank of England cut its UK growth forecast, warning the UK is stuck in a "low-growth" environment.
Maureen Watt, convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Infrastructure and Investment Committee, said George Osborne was doing “real harm” to Scotland’s economy as a result of his inability to face reality on capital investment.
The SNP MSP for Aberdeen South and North Kincardine said:
“George Osborne cannot go on ignoring the signs – these statistics show how vital it is to invest in capital spending.
“When you have the Bank of England cutting its UK growth forecast for the next year and saying the UK could be stuck in a ‘low-growth’ environment, it is simply unacceptable for the Chancellor not to act.
“He is doing real harm to our economy as a result of his inability to face the reality on capital investment – that it is needed now more than ever.
“We know that an extra £5billion in capital investment would allow us to provide an additional stimulus of more than £400million to support employment in Scotland right now.
“Why is he reluctant to do what is necessary to help our economies? He must take meaningful action in his Autumn Statement to do what is needed to bring jobs and growth to the UK.
“The SNP Government is doing all it can with the limited powers it has through measures such as further investment in construction, skills and an additional £40 million for affordable housing and funding for more new school buildings.
“We also announced £485million additional investment since last year's Spending Review and £2.5billion of infrastructure investment set out last year.
“But if the Chancellor continues down this road of ignoring these calls – including almost half the economists who originally endorsed his deficit-reduction strategy who now want an alternative – then this work by the SNP will continue to be derailed.
“That is why we need the full economic levers of an independent nation – to allow us to take the right steps for Scotland’s economy, no longer shackled to a damaging UK Tory government.”