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UK : Government should act on IMF warning

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Finance Secretary John Swinney has called on the UK Government to take heed of the IMF warnings on the lack of growth in the economy and increase infrastructure investment.

The Scottish Government has been calling for some months on the UK Government to increase capital investment to boost economic growth, employment and aid recovery. Finance Secretary John Swinney said indications of a change in direction were a positive move as he urged the UK Government to fund the list of £300 million shovel-ready projects First Minister Alex Salmond has given to the Prime Minister.

The reported shift in emphasis from the UK Government comes the day after the IMF called for policies to boost demand in the UK economy.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “The Scottish Government is using every lever available to improve our economy, leading to a higher employment rate and a lower rate of economic inactivity in Scotland than in the UK economy as a whole. We have long argued that our approach needs to be reinforced by increased investment in infrastructure which is the key to growth.

“There is a growing consensus across Europe, the G8 and now the IMF that we need to invest in growth. The UK Government must now act on these warnings and recognise that additional capital spending is the route to support economic recovery.

“With growth flat in the economy, it is now a matter of real and pressing urgency that the UK Government increases capital investment levels in a way that the Scottish Government has long been calling for. This is the moment to act decisively to stimulate the economy and the UK Government must not be an obstacle to recovery in Scotland.”

Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil added:

“Earlier this month, the First Minister wrote again to the Prime Minister calling on him to invest in the list of £300 million ‘shovel-ready’ projects across Scotland we provided to him, to boost growth and support thousands of jobs.

“It is imperative that the UK Government takes urgent action, and in particular that they green light the list of shovel-ready projects across Scotland we submitted at the Prime Minister’s request more than two months ago.”