Sunday, 8 April 2012

McAlpine Writes To David Cameron On Shovel-Ready Project Snub


SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has written to the Prime Minister demanding that he release the Barnett consequentials from the £4.1bn spent upgrading the London sewerage network, in order that vital infrastructure projects in Scotland can be funded, including a dangerous stretch of road in her constituency.

Earlier this week it was revealed that £4.1bn UK Government reserves are to be used to fund the new sewerage system in London, as well as a £50 cut in water bills in the South West of England. Had these projects been funded by DEFRA in the normal way, Scotland - as well as the other devolved administrations in the UK - would have been entitled to Barnett Consequentials. In Scotland's case this would have amounted to some £400m.

The news came following the UK Government’s snub of a Scottish Government request for £300m capital funding – submitted at the Prime Minister’s invitation - to start a list of 36 shovel-ready projects across Scotland. One of those projects was the upgrade of the dangerous Hardgrove-Kinmount stretch of the A75 in Ms McAlpine’s South Scotland region. The sewerage upgrade means that money should be coming to Scotland which could fund these projects.

Commenting Ms McAlpine said:

“The UK Government has raided the UK national reserves to the tune of £4.1bn to upgrade the London sewerage works and offer cheaper water bills to The South West of England. Scotland and the other devolved nations are entitled to Barnett consequentials from this money.

“This money is desperately needed in my own constituency where a dangerous stretch of the A75 is in need of upgrading for safety reasons. The Coalition ignored this request in the Budget, but just days later we find out that there should be money coming to Scotland to fund these projects.

“It is just one of many vital projects across Scotland that are ready to go straight away – but only if David Cameron's Government hands over the Barnett consequentials that are rightfully Scotland’s."

Details of the way in which the London sewerage upgrade was funded - in a way that denied Barnett consequentials to the devolved administrations - can be found at:
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