Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill
Sajid Javid (Bromsgrove, Conservative)
As always, my hon. Friend is absolutely right. [ Interruption. ] I must plough on.
On a number of occasions the Opposition suggested that this Government were spending less on infrastructure than they would have if, by some miracle, they had won the last election. Let us look at the facts. After the last election, David Miliband said in his leadership hustings bid that they were going to halve the share of national income going into capital spending. Plans presented by Labour to this House at their last Budget, in March 2010, showed net investment falling from £50 billion in 2009 to a projected £23 billion by 2014-15, a figure lower than the one this Government have planned.
We heard from the Opposition about Britain’s growing debt. However, they forget, conveniently, that when this Government came to power, our budget deficit was 11% of GDP, higher than any other nation in the G7. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, if the plans of Mr Darling had been implemented, this country’s debt would be £200 billion higher than under the plans of this Government. They just do not get it—more spending, more borrowing, more debt.
Members on both sides of the House have recognised the scale of capital required to realise some major infrastructure investments.