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Infrastructure

Part of Opposition Day — [17th( )Allotted Day] — Horsemeat – in the House of Commons at 6:46 pm on 12th February 2013.

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Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 6:46 pm, 12th February 2013

I direct the hon. Lady to read the OBR report, which mentions a number of reasons, not least the eurozone crisis. She might like to read that report for herself.

I should respond to the points hon. Members have raised in the debate. Many accusations were made by Opposition Members. They said that, had they won the election, they would have miraculously invested more. The reality is that, had they won the election, they would have continued borrowing recklessly, which would have led to much higher interest rates. They would probably have led this country into the hands of the International Monetary Fund once again, which seems to be their speciality.

Let us look at Labour’s March 2010 Budget. It shows that the previous Government planned to cut capital spending by 6% compared with our latest plans. In fact, in nominal terms, they planned to cut capital spending by 22% between 2010 and 2014. My hon. Friend Andrew Bridgen made a good point, which Catherine McKinnell dismissed. Let me read to her the words of David Miliband. In July 2010, he said the previous Government would have halved the share of national income going into capital spending. That is the truth, and Labour Members want to deny it.

Meanwhile, this Government have overseen an increase in total investment in infrastructure from £29 billion a year, which was the level between 2005 and 2010, to £33 billion a year between 2010 and 2012. In the autumn statement, the Chancellor unveiled a further £5.5 billion of investment, including £1.5 billion for the strategic road network.

Hon. Members are aware that the vast majority of spending needs to come from the private sector. That is why we have taken measures to target and support investment—measures such as the UK guarantee scheme, which will provide up to £40 billion of support to critical infrastructure.