Infrastructure

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 5th November 2013.

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Photo of Jason McCartney Jason McCartney Conservative, Colne Valley 11:30 am, 5th November 2013

What recent steps he has taken to increase investment in infrastructure.

Photo of Danny Alexander Danny Alexander The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Investment in infrastructure is a key priority for this Government. In June, I set out a pipeline of investment in specific projects, worth over £100 billion out to 2020, including the largest investment in our railways since the Victorian era and the biggest investment in roads since the 1970s.

Photo of Jason McCartney Jason McCartney Conservative, Colne Valley

I welcome the support of my local Labour leader of Kirklees council for the new north-south railway, but does my right hon. Friend agree with the leader of Manchester council, who said that politicians need to stop taking cheap shots at HS2

“unless we want an increasingly disconnected North…slowly grinding to a halt”?

H

The general opinion in my circle of friends is that HS2 will not reach Yorkshire, but will end in Birmingham. It is supposed to allow more freight traffic to use the other lines by diverting passengers to HS2. Will this...

Submitted by Howard Walker Continue reading

Photo of Danny Alexander Danny Alexander The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

I wholeheartedly agree with those sentiments. My hon. Friend could have added to that list the leader of Nottingham city council, who said that the Labour Front Bench should get off the fence on HS2. The project is needed to promote growth, and connectivity outside London. I agree with that, and so should they.

Photo of Rob Flello Rob Flello Labour, Stoke-on-Trent South

When the Chancellor talks about increased investment, is that what he meant to cover the £10 billion increase in the HS2 costs, which have gone up on his watch?

M

What about the 20 billion increase on warships that went up on Browns watch?

Submitted by Mike Johnson

Photo of Danny Alexander Danny Alexander The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

We set out in June the budget for HS2. We will absolutely stick to that budget. Using the excellent leadership we have brought in, with Sir David Higgins and others, we will make sure that the project is delivered under budget. The hon. Gentleman should be committed to the project because it will support growth all over the United Kingdom. It is the most significant investment in our railways for 100 years, and his party should support it.

Photo of Andrew Griffiths Andrew Griffiths Conservative, Burton

I refer the House to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. I congratulate the Chancellor and his Government on their investment in infrastructure in the west midlands, which helped to deliver the Jaguar Land Rover plant, and thousands of manufacturing jobs in the process. I also draw the Minister’s attention to the A50, a key corridor in my constituency, connecting Stoke to Derby, which involves a number of manufacturing businesses that could hugely benefit from road improvements and infrastructure spending.

Photo of Danny Alexander Danny Alexander The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

The hon. Gentleman is right that targeted infrastructure investment can unlock job creation in enterprise zones, including at JLR and in various places around the country. I am well aware of the particular scheme that he is promoting and I look forward to discussing it further with him to see how we can take it forward.

Photo of Geoffrey Robinson Geoffrey Robinson Labour, Coventry North West

The Chief Secretary will be aware that several conflicting and not very encouraging cost-benefit analyses for HS2 are currently in circulation. Could he not clear the air by commissioning and publishing a genuinely independent internal Treasury cost-benefit analysis of the project?

j

There have been four cost-benefit analyses already and have all come out AGAINST HS2. This Government is not listening to facts and common sense. Why should they take notice of...

Submitted by judy williams Continue reading

Photo of Danny Alexander Danny Alexander The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

The Government have set out various cost-benefit analyses of the project. With respect to the hon. Gentleman, what is needed in this project is not more procrastination, delay and extra reports, but a commitment in all parts of the House to get on with this north-south railway and allow economic growth in every part of the United Kingdom.