Conflicting reports

SNP and Labour clash over progress on infrastructure

Michael Matheson

Michael Matheson: ‘making a real difference’

Labour and the SNP have clashed over updates on the progress of key infrastructure projects in Scotland.

The SNP claims “significant progress” has been made on major schemes in the past six months, including the £160 million electrification of the railway line from Glasgow to Edinburgh via Shotts, completion of the £57.9m Dalry Bypass, and the opening of a £77.4m hospital in Orkney.

It adds that more than £90m of school projects were completed and opened to pupils within the current £1.8 billion Schools for the Future Programme.

Infrastructure Secretary Michael Matheson said: “In spite of increasingly challenging economic conditions, the Scottish Government is forging on with delivering infrastructure projects that are making a real difference to people’s lives – by improving on Scotland’s housing, education, transport and education infrastructure.

However, Labour says more than a quarter of the SNP’s flagship infrastructure projects have suffered further delays. It says 12 of the 45 (27%) projects have been delayed since the last update in March. At that time the report showed almost half the projects had already faced delays.

Labour has listed a number projects hit by delays include prisons, schools, ferries and hospitals, including the Royal Hospital for Sick Kids – delayed until Autumn 2020 and the Aberdeen Baird family Hospital– start date no longer known.

Scottish Labour’s Infrastructure spokesman, Colin Smyth said: “The SNPs handling of major infrastructure projects from new ferries to the sick kids hospital has been utterly incompetent and delays have simply become the norm under this Government.

“Infrastructure investment is key to a strong economy and good public services, but the SNPs mismanagement means too many projects are behind schedule and have been handed to companies who aren’t delivering good quality work. 

“Labour would ensure public contracts and major projects deliver best value for the taxpayer and a better deal for working people.”

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