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Public Infrastructure Spending

Volume 617: debated on Tuesday 29 November 2016

In the autumn statement, as I have said already, I announced the creation of a new national productivity investment fund to provide £23 billion of additional investment. That is on top of the £150 billion that is already baked into the baseline, and it is focused on the key areas for boosting productivity—housing, infrastructure and research and development.

I welcome the £800 million in Barnett consequentials, which the Scottish Government will invest on top of the £100 million they have already announced for capital projects, but what further steps will the Chancellor take to address the almost 10% cut to the Scottish capital budget since the Tories came to office?

The Scottish Government will have a full share of infrastructure spending through the Barnett formula, and we will work with the Scottish Government and all other devolved Administrations and regional entities, as we work to raise the UK’s productivity game. That is about infrastructure investment—both public and private. It is about raising skills. It is about raising management capability, and we announced that we would fund the Charlie Mayfield initiative to disseminate best management practice across small and medium-sized enterprises. It is about doing all these things to ensure the UK is match fit to prosper in the global economy in the future.

May I ask the Chancellor not to blindly hand over any extra infrastructure spending in West Yorkshire to the Labour-dominated West Yorkshire Combined Authority for it just to pump money into the Labour heartlands, and instead make sure that money can be spent in other parts of West Yorkshire, including on a Shipley eastern bypass, which would benefit the local economy and the economies of my hon. Friends the Members for Pudsey (Stuart Andrew) and for Keighley (Kris Hopkins), too?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I did not know that Labour had any heartlands left, so that is an interesting comment. I will pass on his concerns to my right hon. Friend the Transport Secretary and ask him to take them into consideration when he makes his allocations.