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Infrastructure

Part of Opposition Day — [17th( )Allotted Day] — Horsemeat – in the House of Commons at 4:42 pm on 12th February 2013.

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Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 4:42 pm, 12th February 2013

It is not clear to me whether the hon. Gentleman is criticising PFI. If PFI was initiated by the previous Conservative Government, the champion of it—the party that relied on it and put it off balance sheet, and that misused it and mortgaged the future of our country—was clearly the Labour party.

After 13 years of the Labour Government our roads were more congested, our railways were creaking, house building was at its lowest level since the 1920s and electricity customers were facing black-outs for the first time since before the war. Our great cities were as poorly connected as they had been a century earlier, while across Europe and the world, new roads and railways brought cities together in 21st-century networks of prosperity. As the excellent report published recently by the London School of Economics states,

“infrastructure has been neglected, particularly in the areas of transport and energy. For example, more than a fifth of the UK’s electricity-generating capacity will go out of commission over the next decade and Ofgem…has warned of power shortages by 2015.”

That is the reflection after 13 years of neglect of Britain’s infrastructure.