Stephen Crabb pledges £100bn infrastructure fund in race to be PM
Conservative leadership hopeful Stephen Crabb has pledged to create a £100bn "Growing Britain Fund" for infrastructure projects including social housing and schools if he becomes Prime Minister.
The Work and Pensions Secretary said flood defences, a national fibre-optic broadband network, prisons and Crossrail Two would all be eligible to handouts from the fund.
He plans to issue up to £20bn of long-dated bonds each year for five successive years to generate the cash – since bond yields fell after the Brexit vote, lowering borrowing costs.
"The cost of borrowing is incredibly low. Spending government money on infrastructure has therefore never been more affordable," Mr Crabb said.
Sajid Javid, who would be Mr Crabb's Chancellor if he won the Tory leadership race, insisted the plan could create "hundreds of thousands" of new jobs.
Michael Gove, also a candidate in the race, has promised to spend £100m on the NHS every week if he wins.
The Justice Secretary and Brexit campaigner has also pledged to reform high corporate pay and cut immigration by blocking free movement of people from the EU.
Home Secretary Theresa May, the current frontrunner in the race, has promised to "govern for the whole country" and reconcile the Remain and Leave sides of the EU debate.
Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom will set out her stall at a formal campaign launch today, while former Defence Secretary Liam Fox is also in the race.
The candidates will go through a series of votes by MPs to whittle down the number to a final two, one of whom will then be selected by the Conservative membership and announced leader on 9 September.