Chancellor must boost infrastructure spending, says Plaid Cymru

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Plaid Cymru is urging the UK Chancellor to use his Autumn Statement to bring infrastructure spending back to 2008 levels, in a bid to rebalance the economy.

Criticising Westminster’s “chronic obsession” with the south east of England, the party’s Treasury spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, is calling for infrastructure spending to be spread across the UK.

Mr Edwards is calling for the Chancellor to make a series of commitments to invest in major infrastructure upgrades in Wales and to announce a number of shovel-ready projects to kick start the Welsh economy.

Plaid Cymru has long advocated additional capital investment of 1 per cent of GDP, equating to around £20 billion of further investment. This would equate an additional £560 million a year for Wales.

Commenting, Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, said:

“The long-term economic plan has failed. Westminster’s austerity programme has starved our economy and the Chancellor must acknowledge this and act accordingly.

“Infrastructure spending must be brought back up to pre-financial crash levels and it should be spread evenly across the whole of the United Kingdom. Westminster’s chronic obsession with the south east of England cannot continue.

“Some parts of the UK have seen major infrastructure investment but Wales is asked to settle for crumbs from the Westminster table.

“We cannot continue to be told that investments such as HS2 and Crossrail are investments for Wales. They are not. An investment in Wales would be a high speed rail line in Wales, but the reality is we’re still waiting for our first inch of electrified rail, let alone high speed.

“The Chancellor must increase infrastructure spending and bring it back to pre-2008 levels. An increase of just 1% of GDP would mean a £20 billion stimulus and would drive economic activity.

“The long-term economic plan is in tatters and looks more like a short-term economic scramble. The Chancellor must use his Autumn Statement to get a handle on the economy and make it work for all parts of the UK, rather than just the south east of England.”

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