Concrete trophy projects risk social progress

For immediate release 21 September 2011

Greens argued that today's Spending Review constitutes a freeze on social and environmental progress and that misguided spending is sapping money away from crucial budgets on housing and public services.*

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"There is a clear danger that the Scottish Government's policies on public sector pay and pensions end up inflicting exactly the same pain in Scotland that the Coalition is content to preside over elsewhere. John Swinney claims to value public sector workers. I hope he has discussed his position on their pensions with public sector unions. If not, he risks igniting real anger and leaving them with little choice but to act to defend their members' pensions.

"Politicians from every party back a low-carbon economy but the choices made on capital investment simply fail to match the rhetoric. Massive expenditure on concrete trophies like the new Forth bridge and Aberdeen bypass will suck the money away from investments that actually improve people's quality of life. There is something fundamentally wrong with a spending plan where the motorways budget is over three times the size of the housing and regeneration budget, and these figures are moving in opposite directions every year.